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Transforming economies by supporting high-potential young entrepreneurs in Africa


We recently announced the launch of our ‘High Flyers’ Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, a regional initiative delivered by two Youth Business International (YBI) members, ICCO Uganda and Enterprise Uganda, with support from the Argidius Foundation and the Government of Uganda.

Coming together to form the partnership, this three-year initiative will equip high-potential young entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa with the skills to scale their businesses sustainably and drive job creation in their local communities. ‘High Flyers’ are a small catalytic group of young entrepreneurs with the capacity for exponential, sustainable business growth. These young people therefore have high potential to transform economies.

As part of the ‘High Flyers’ programme, YBI has also launched an African regional community of practice, bringing together network members in Sub-Saharan Africa and convening the necessary expertise to ensure high impact for the youth entrepreneurship support services being offered.

In order to spur effective collaboration on the High Flyers programme, there have already been two workshops in Uganda, the first in December 2018 and the second in February 2019.

Kick-off workshop

For the first gathering, representatives from Enterprise Uganda (EUg), ICCO Uganda and YBI came together in Kampala to kick-off the new project. 

In two productive and energetic days of collaboration, the teams jointly developed the project’s Theory of Change and work plan, identified potential risks and discussed strategies to prevent and address them together.

Regional collaboration

In February 2019, YBI members from across Sub-Saharan Africa come together again in Kampala for a second workshop where attendees not only learnt about the experiences of a ‘High-Flying’ entrepreneur supported by YBI member, Enterprise Uganda, but also took part in an initial community of practice meeting.  

A highlight of the three-day workshop was the fundraising training session delivered by YBI, which focused on organisational sustainability, covering the essential components of building a good fundraising strategy and establishing relationships with donors. Participants included representatives from YBI members in Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.

The sessions were practical and interactive, with participants engaged not only in deepening their knowledge around the topics covered  but also in sharing their expertise and experiences. Attendees were engaged in activities such as creating roadmaps to success, conducting a SWOT analysis and how to build a budget and adapt it to different donor requirements.

Adenike Adeyemi, CEO of YBI member in Nigeria, FATE Foundation, commented on the event:

Thank you very much to YBI for leading what has been the most practical and insightful fundraising workshop training I have been part of. It was great to also get valuable insights into the future plans of developing the African Regional Community of Practice and we look forward to working with YBI members to strengthen local communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

What happens next

Looking ahead towards the future of the programme and the further development of the Regional Community of Practice, there will be regular meetings this year to explore ways of collaboration that can increase collective impact. YBI members will convene for a third ‘High-Flyers’ workshop which will take place in spring 2020 where they will focus on innovation that will provide the tools needed to better respond to challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Meanwhile, in the short term, there will be a regional meeting of YBI members in Africa as part of YBI’s Global Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (GYES) taking place in Cartagena, Colombia in June. To find out more about the event, visit the GYES website.

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