Jesuit Urumuri Centre has launched the youth empowerment program for a third group of beneficiaries. Initiated to combat unemployment among university and high school graduates, this social innovation and entrepreneurship program for the youth has been run twice already, producing about fifty entrepreneurs.
Each time the program is launched, JUC selects forty youth and trains them using the program’s manual, on social innovation and entrepreneurship for a period of three months. After graduation and handover of certificates, the youth are taken through an incubation period during which their new businesses are closely monitored as their viability is tested.
During this final quarter of 2023 and in collaboration with BDC-Rwanda, Jesuit Urumuri Centre has completed a bootcamp phase of the program during which fifty five youth were selected out of applicants. They were taken through a one day intensive training on how to present business ideas in front of potential investors and supporters. As having business ideas was a requirement during the application process, after the intensive training beneficiaries made presentations in front of a panel of business experts for the next two days. A final selection was made where moving forward, thirty seven youth will be trained for the next phases of the program.
Present during this initial exercise were JUC programs manager Mr Prudence Kayiranga, sj, BDC trainer Mr Wilson Muhirwa and project manager at Grow Movement Mrs Diane Irankunda.
While giving his remarks, Mr Kayiranga urged the youth to take the program seriously in order for it to have tangible impact on the society. He expressed regret that the previous two cohorts grew less in numbers as the program progressed such that graduates were less than those that were initially selected for training; “I ask you please to see value in the time and efforts of all who make this training possible. It is free of charge, all that is needed is your presence to absorb this knowledge and information and then go make use of it in creating jobs for yourself and your peers”.
He further advised the youth to be foresighted and think about the future more than the present; “To my knowledge, a few past beneficiaries of the program were motivated by allowances we provide to make attending classes easier. They were present and early on days they were to receive allowances but tardy and absent on other class days. I want you to think differently, value the teachings more, realize they are for your own good and keep in mind that many wish for an opportunity such as this and don’t get it”.
On the days of presenting, youth presented business ideas ranging from agribusiness, to fashion, modern technology, culinary art, animal husbandry, etc. Moving forward there will be an official launch of the program after which the three month training will begin. After that, selected beneficiaries will begin a six month incubation process while Jesuit Urumuri Centre begins training for a forth cohort.
JUC Communications Officer