Century Entrepreneurship Development Agency – CEDA International is a not-for-profit organization specializing in leadership, mentoring and entrepreneurship development. The organization’s vision is to create a new generation of women leaders who are economically independent and socially responsible. The organization was started in 2007 out of the great need to bridge the leadership and employment gaps among youth and women in Uganda. It provides employment and job creation skills to youth – girls and boys; women; community groups; persons with disabilities and people living with HIV/AIDS. CEDA International has established a platform through which young people and women’s voices and stories are shared and celebrated to ensure the promotion and protection of equal opportunities.
The organization provides practical skills to people to enable them become the best at whatever they choose to do and remain competitive and relevant in the changing market. The programs groom a new generation of social, political and economic leaders to bridge the leadership and employment gap in the country. Acquiring these skills brings a paradigm shift that is reframing the people’s thinking to articulate priorities and generate collective actions to take charge of their destinies and at the same time improve their communities. Our work is inspired by words of Augusto Lopez-Claros at the World Economic Forum
“It is indeed very likely that there is a strong and positive correlation between Africa’s economic growth and the unleashing of female talent.”
To create a new generation of women leaders who are economically independent and socially responsible.
To develop and nurture entrepreneurial skills among people with emphasis on increasing success and survival of small and medium Enterprises.
Mentoring is like a Candle, one can light up so many candles without losing its glow; together they create more light and better heat.
The greatest injustice facing Uganda and other African countries is not poverty, corruption, AIDS, or even the lack of access to education; the most profound problem is failure of the education systems to empower people as leaders to solve these challenges.
CEDA operates through a variety of outlets including:-
CEDA International’s strategic approach integrates Coaching, Mentoring and Training/Capacity building in technical, vocational and soft skills. It utilizes the use awareness raising campaigns, community outreach programs, music, art, drama and social media and other ITCs during implementation of the following focus areas:
VIOLA AMUTUHEIRE 21yrs, 3rd year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
CEDA International runs four flagship programs – Rising Stars Mentoring Program focusing on girls in secondary schools, universities and emerging leaders in employment; the Youth Engaged Program aimed at equipping young men with technical, vocational and soft skills to necessary for the job market; UniAction for Peace and Security Program empowering university girls with key skills to guard them against human trafficking and related sexual abuses; and the Women Entrepreneurship Development Initiative–WEDI is designed specifically for under privileged communities to help them improve their livelihoods.
Like the US Ambassador to Uganda Jerry Lanier said at the launch of the youth program, ”Empowering the next generation of youth is vital to Uganda’s future. Half of your population is under the age of 18. The youth benefiting from the mentoring program represent the hope and resources of this beautiful country.”
Background of the Program
In Uganda, despite the impressive increase in girls’ schools’ enrollment from 45.2% in 2006 to 70.5% in 2013, formal education alone does not empower girls (UNESCO). Young women’s transition from school into work is still a huge challenge. Key factors affecting girls include lack of employment skills, inadequate guidance at home/school, absence of role models/mentors and positive engagement (Federation of African Women Educationists). Unemployment among young women is further escalated by the patriarch cultural systems that treat women as second-class citizens. The Rising Stars Mentoring Program focuses on both systematic and personal root-causes that impede young women from getting rewarding employment. The relevance of this initiative at the secondary level is critical given that many young women enter the labor force from this level. The fresh, bold and innovative program comprehensively inspires, equips and skills young women to transform their thinking, develop their characters, self-confidence, take charge of their lives, lead change and make positive social impact in their communities.
First Launched in 2011 by the US Mission Kampala, the Rising Stars Mentoring Program graduated 175 girls from secondary schools namely:- Nabisunga Girls Secondary School, Nabbingo Girls School, Mbogo High School, Gayaza High School, Tororo Girls School, Bweranyangi Girls Secondary school and St. Mary’s Aboke Girls School. With support from MacArthur Foundation the Rising Stars Mentoring Program is a three-year mentoring initiative currently targeting 1050 young women aged 13-18 including schools from post conflict-affected areas of northern and western Uganda namely: Sacred Heart Secondary School (Gulu), Lagwai Seed Secondary School (Pader), Everest Girls Secondary School (Oyam), St. Paul VI Secondary School (Nwoya), Bujubuli Settlement Secondary school (Kyegegwa), Rwamwanja Settlement Secondary School (Kamwenge) and Kyenjonjo Secondary School (Kyenjojo).
Based on a powerful model of combining and weaving education with key life skills, leadership, vocational and entrepreneurship skills, young women are equipped to navigate adolescent life challenges; get internships and market-relevant skills for a positive transition from school to work. Equipping them with these skills ignites their cognitive skills, critical thinking, innovation and interdependence skills, which are critical necessities for success in the global economy. These skills enable them confidently and competitively enter the job market as employees or entrepreneurs-the job creators.
The program is based on the 5D CYCLE®, a powerful development Model that enables young women to Discover who they are, Dream about what they want to become, Design ways of achieving those dreams and Develop key skills and habits that lead them to rewarding Destinies. The innovative program works directly with secondary schools by training teachers, parents and community leaders as support mentors so that they integrate the skills into the existing life style, structures and activities. Using 2 hours every week during the school terms, the Mentors guide the mentees (Rising Stars) through an innovative curriculum in personal and principled community leadership and entrepreneurship development resulting in setting up of school-based agriculture enterprises. The Program methodology uses practical and experiential learning including role-plays, case studies, audio, video and motivational speeches from role models, art, speech and drama to ignite creativity, self-expression and communication skills. To-date, the Rising Stars Mentoring Program has directly mentored 1,225 young women, trained 210 teachers, 70 parents and 35 community leaders with a cumulative impact of 12,000 young women. The young women have gained: Employment-relevant skills through holiday apprenticeship; leadership skills, social life skills, academic excellence, community support networks (Mentoring Clubs) and financial literacy skills that have nurtured the culture of saving.
The Program has a Strategic Plan with a strong team, and systems for proper volunteer and project management, supported by a strong Monitoring and Evaluation System that gathers and tracks key learning and evidence-based results. The 5D Cycle model has been shared and adapted by US Peace Corps Uganda, Rotary 9211 (Uganda and Tanzania), Build Africa, Global Fund for Children grantees in Uganda, Child Protection Services (Zimbabwe) and Manjano Dream Foundation Tanzania. The process of building a Prototype for the Model will be completed by May 2016 for global scaling.
The “paying it forward” concept has enabled the young women to impact 2-3 other young women in the communities, with a trickle down effect of over 1,500. Furthermore, the provision of computers with pre-installed reference materials created a new dimension to understanding practical leadership and employment skills. Through the Mentoring Clubs, the program has built strong supporting systems within the schools and strong collaborations within the communities. During the Community Initiatives, there was full participation from all the other students in the schools as well as the community leaders, teachers and parents. At Rwamwanja secondary school for example, as a result of the Community Initiative, the community has started a monthly cleaning activity for public facilities like the prison, hospital and market. This has greatly raised the profile and visibility of the Program and brought immeasurable support and demand for young women to think and act like leaders.
At the end of the year, 483 Rising Stars took part in two successful Mentoring Boot Camps at Sacred Heart Secondary School in Gulu, Northern Uganda and Nyakasura Secondary School in Fort portal, Western Uganda. The camps created a platform for sharing, peer-learning, fun and networking for the young women. The young women got exposed to more creative training materials and tools and fully exhibited creativity and innovation through debates, poetry, dance, drama and songs. The entrepreneurship market place gave an opportunity to the young women to practically set up and run businesses, manage teams, develop products and services, brand, sell and market. This real-world experience highlighted the challenge of youth unemployment, financial planning and management (money matters) as well as dynamics of an open economy.
The Rising Stars Mentoring Program(2012) focused on girls in schools, universities and women in employment aged 14-30 years. The Rising Stars went through a two-year mentoring program focusing on life skills, leadership and social entrepreneurship.
It was based on the 5D CYCLE, a powerful development tool that enabled them to Discover who they are, Dream about what they wanted to become, Design ways of achieving those dreams and Develop key skills that lead them to rewarding Destinies. The girls learned key skills like self-discovery, confidence, financial literacy, communication, goal setting and critical thinking. Acquiring these skills will bring a paradigm shift that re-frames the girl’s thinking to articulate priorities and generate collective actions to take charge of their destinies and at the same time improve their communities. The program was grooming and mentoring women leaders who will reclaim the lost pearl and restore the true Ugandan pride and glory. Currently, the program is impacting 12,000 girls in 7 girls’ schools including Nabisunsa Girls School, Trinity College Nabbingo, Mbogo High School, Gayaza High School, Bweranyangi Girls School, St. Mary’s College Aboke and Tororo Girls School and 8 universities.
In April 2014 with the support from MacArthur Foundation, CEDA International launched the Rising Stars Mentoring Program. The three-year mentoring initiative is targeting 1050 young women aged 13-18 by “Inspiring, skilling and equipping them to competitively transit from school to adulthood.” The Program is currently being implemented in 7 girls’ secondary schools from the conflict-affected areas of northern and western Uganda. The partner
Through Mentoring and Training, the program has empowered girls to become economically independent and socially responsible leaders based on a powerful model of combining and weaving education with key life skills, leadership, vocational and entrepreneurship skills. Equipping young women with these skills has ignited their cognitive skills, critical thinking, innovation, inter-dependence and financial literacy, which are critical necessities for success in the global economy.
Each school provides 2 hours every week during the school terms, the mentors guide the mentees (Rising stars) through an innovative curriculum in personal and principled community leadership, which include applying the theoretical and practical skills to design and start enterprises in their schools and homes. The program methodology use practical and experiential learning including role-plays, case studies, audio, video or motivational speeches from role models, art, speech and drama; this inspires creativity and leadership skills development.
The “paying it forward” concept enables the young women to impact 2-3 other young women in the communities, with a trickledown effect of over 1,500. Furthermore, the provision of computers with pre-installed reference materials created a new dimension to understanding practical leadership and employment skills. Through the Mentoring Clubs, the program has built strong supporting systems within the schools and strong collaborations within the communities.
The Youth Engaged Program runs at the Muslim Youth Centre in Kawempe division, a suburb of Kampala city. The centre caters for the youth male aged 15-35 years from the predominately Muslim communities of Kawempe, Bwaise, Kalerwe, Makerere, Wandegeya, Nabweru, Kagoma, Tula, Katanga and Kivulu.
This is an area which has densely populated slums which habour youth who are unemployed and unskilled. The centre provides the young people with a sense of community and purpose in setting up economic incentives that are a strong motivator for participation in violence. Mentors guide the youth through an innovative curriculum in personal and principled community Leadership, Mentoring and Entrepreneurship, which will include applying theoretical and practical skills to design and start social enterprises in their communities.
At completion of the program the youth are empowered to become economically independent and socially responsible. They are able to articulate their priorities and generate collective action to improve their livelihood options through positive attitudes and behaviours. The mentored youth are connected to experienced positive role models for practical work experience and to entrepreneurship development incubators to support them to actualize their business ideas.
The Program objectives are to increase economic opportunities for Muslim youth, equipped them to enter market place and to empower them to participate in peace and tolerance efforts.
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The UniAction for Peace & Security Program is a two-year mentoring initiative targeting 1,600 young women in 8 universities in Uganda aged 18-35 years. By integrating leadership, entrepreneurship and life skills into their daily lives, the young women are equipped to make informed decisions and navigate their way in a world beset by challenges, to enable them become the best at whatever they choose to do. During the program, mentors guide the young women through an innovative curriculum in personal and value-based community leadership, social and entrepreneurship development.
The local council-women near the universities are also trained to spearhead advocacy for comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation in the areas of prevention, protection of victims and prosecution of offenders. The program activities focus on creating solutions dealing with both systemic and personal root-causes of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, and other challenges that impede women from living up to their full potential.
Objectives are to increase economic opportunities for young university women through entrepreneurship and employment skills development, to equip young women with social and leadership skills to enable them deal with personal and community challenges; and to empower young women as active players participants in peace and security initiatives to prevent human trafficking, sexual exploitation and related gender abuses.
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We have designed specific programs for under privileged communities to help them unleash their potential by creating sustainable businesses to improve their livelihoods. We also support Small and Medium Enterprises to get competitiveness and sustainability through business management systems. CEDA is the centre of excellence for nurturing and development of entrepreneurship in Uganda. We offer personal and business development skills through coaching, mentoring and training.
We give practical solutions to people in order to guide them to become more competitive and relevant in the changing market. We approach our work in a strategic manner focusing on the individual skills as well as the overall business. Our program offers a wide range of entrepreneurship development solutions depending on individual or business level in any of the following:
Mentoring Walk is Vital Voices Global Partnership initiative that has become an annual global event in more than 14 countries globally. The idea for “mentoring walks” originated with Founder and Former CEO of Oxygen Media, Geraldine Laybourne, who developed these events across the United States and shared her experience doing so with FORTUNE/US State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership. Mentoring walks are events in which established women leaders and rising women professionals convene and walk together in their community.
As they walk, they engage in discussion regarding their professional challenges and successes, establishing a mentoring relationship in which the seasoned leader guides, advises and supports their peer. Since 2009, CEDA International has joined other countries for the Mentoring Walks which bring together more than 1,775 girls and women to network and share experiences and establish mentoring relationships.
In Uganda, despite the positive achievements by women, women’s contribution and success has been underplayed. This has led to the negative perceptions where by young girls feel that there are no female role models in Uganda to look up to. There is indeed a huge leadership gap in Uganda where young people do not have access to women mentors for direction, support and inspiration.
The Inspirational Women of Uganda Directory is intended to highlight positive achievements by women through success stories. These stories will become an inspiration to the young women, and the women achievers will become role models and mentors for other women through the mentoring program. As Dr. Esther Brimmer – Assistant Secretary of State Bureau of International Organization Affairs, US Department of State put it, indeed “Young women who get exposed to role models and have a supportive network, get an easier transition from adolescence to adulthood, their performance at work and chances of success in life are greatly increased.
Slum Women Economic Empowerment Program (SWEEP) was a one year initiative targeting 200 single mothers ages 15-30 years in areas of Kawempe division one of the biggest and heavily populated slums in Kampala. With a grant from UN HABITAT Slum women Fund, the program catered for the growing number of unemployed single mothers in these areas by equipping them with leadership, vocational, employment and entrepreneurship skills that enabled them to positively transform their lives and at the same time positively impact their communities socially and economically. Kawempe Division is a densely populated slum that harbors slum women who are unemployed and unskilled. The centre provided the young people with a sense of community and purpose in setting up economic incentives that are a strong motivator for participation in violence and extremism activities. The single mothers were mentored in entrepreneurship and self-sustaining businesses by giving them the training they needed to excel in their chosen trade or profession. The objectives of the project were to increase economic opportunities for single mothers by equipping them with key entrepreneurship and employment skills, as well as with social/life skills to enable them to confidently negotiate life options with clear perspectives and establish a support system for peer mentoring within the community.
During the program, the slum women were taken through a two months intensive training and mentoring process starting with personal development process the 5D Cycle that enabled them to DISCOVER who they are, DREAM about what they want to become, DESIGN goals, DEVELOP key skills that lead them to rewarding DESTINIES to become the best at whatever they choose to do. Mentors guided the slum women through an innovative curriculum in personal and principled community Leadership, Mentoring and Entrepreneurship, which include applying theoretical and practical skills to design and start enterprises in their communities.
Since the Program started in January 2014, it registered great strides. The program positively transformed 200 slum women by equipping them with key skills to become competitive and relevant in the job market as employees or entrepreneurs. On 10th July 2014, 130 slum women participated in a community dialogue which was presided over by Hon Syda Bumba, Former Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development. The event was graced by 15 key women role models from various fields of business, politics, judiciary, environment, government and private sector.
At completion of the program the slum women were empowered to become economically independent and socially responsible. The slum women were awarded certificates after gaining practical vocational skills including catering and baking, arts & crafts and Hairdressing. The slum women were also equipped with communication skills, community dialogue skills, business planning, employment skills, financial literacy and computer skills. The slum women are now able to articulate their priorities and generate collective actions to improve their livelihood options through positive attitudes and behaviors. The mentored slum women were connected to experience positive role models for practical work experience and to entrepreneurship development incubators to support them to actualize their business ideas.
The graduation ceremony which took place on the 17th day of June 2015 was presided over by Professor. Wasswa Balunywa, Principal, Makerere University Business School. The theme for the graduation was “Empowering Single Mothers to take charge of their destinies and positively impact their communities”. It focused on highlighting the contributions of the single mothers to the development of the country both in employability prospects and job creation.
CEDA International also awarded the top 11 outstanding performances in both business plans and Community initiatives. These Awards went to the single mothers who have done extra work in regards to creativity and implementation of their business ideas and have clearly identified resources for the said project. Under community initiatives, emphasis was put on the impact created by the particular initiative to the community and the ability to mobilize resources and establishing supportive net works within their communities.