By Caleb Nasasira
National Social Security Fund has won the Startup Champion award in the Public Sector for their Hi-innovator program, an innovations initiative, at the Startup Uganda 2021 awards held on 26 November 2021.
This is in recognition of the Fund’s efforts in supporting startups and entrepreneurs in Uganda, beating off competition that included various government ministries and agencies.
Hi-innovator is an Innovation initiative by the Fund in partnership with Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works program, aimed at creating an ecosystem where the innovation of Small and Growing Businesses in Uganda can be harnessed and supported to mature into viable businesses.
“This recognition is confirmation that the decision we took to invest in the Hi-innovator initiative was the right one. The award further positions the Fund as a development partner in Uganda’s entrepreneurship space. We are now more energized to support efforts in averting the high attrition of SMEs,” said Patrick Ayota, the NSSF Deputy Managing Director.
The program has so far skilled 1,500 entrepreneurs from 136 businesses countrywide. It has also provided grant funding and business development and market support to more than 28 businesses in the agricultural value chain.
“Through this initiative, we are not only providing a pathway to the creation of jobs for women and youth in Uganda, but also providing them with grant funding to boost their businesses. We look forward to reaching more than 75,000 entrepreneurs and creating at least 132,000 work opportunities in the next five years,” Ayota added.
The Startup Uganda awards were part of the recently concluded Kampala Innovation Week organized by Startup Uganda, an association of innovation and entrepreneurship support organizations working towards strengthening the startup support ecosystem and sector, in partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). They recognize trailblazing innovations that have created solutions for Uganda challenges.
In the past few months, the National Social Security Fund has also been recognized in the International Customer Experience awards and the International Property awards for the Solana Lifestyle and Residences project in Lubowa. It also emerged Gold winner for the Report of the year at the Financial Reporting awards held last month.