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Ambitious entrepreneur creates youth employment in Uganda
Female entrepreneur Dr. Gudula Naiga Basaza has a strong vision and ambition. As Managing Director of Gudie Leisure Farm in Kampala, Uganda she aims to transform 200,000 smallholder farmers into commercial eco-farmers. The farm is engaged in poultry, piggery, aquaculture, cuniculture, horticulture and agro-tourism in a zero-waste ecosystem.
“The results so far are promising and impressive. Since the start of the social enterprise in 2009, she already reached 531 villages and almost 64,000 smallholder farmers”, says Jaap Hadders, a PUM expert that visited Gudie Leisure Farm earlier this year. “Gudula has followed some farmers and she concluded that her work could have even more impact. Therefor she wanted to develop a new model”. This area is one of the subjects that Jaap, who has experience in organisational development, was able to tackle during his two-week visit.
In 2019 Gudie Leisure Farm established a new education model: the Gudie Incubation Center Business Manager Apprentice programme. This center offers young people the opportunity to become Youth Agripreneur Champions (YACS). These young people will do a 6-month apprenticeship at Gudie Leisure Farm where they will gain agriculture enterprise knowledge and hands on experience. After graduating the young people will go back to their villages and start their own farm. This approach aims to stimulate agricultural development and more youth employment in the villages.
Willingness to work and learn
The request of Gudula to PUM was mainly to review the current model of social entrepreneurship to get a model with traceable impact of transforming smallholder farmers. Jaap: “To start with, we visited three other agricultural training centers to learn from their approach and experiences. In general, we saw strong organized companies, with a small staff, clear structure and with good economical results and competent students. Their main criteria in the selection procedure of hiring new students are: the willingness to work and learn.”
‘The model will be an important step to get more impact and improve the approach of the training’
We used this information to start working on a new model for the incubation Centre at Gudie Leisure Farm together with Gudula and her team. In the new model we have introduced other selection criteria, like access to land to establish the agribusiness on graduation, interested in organic farming and other criteria. Apart from graduating with a certificate, the young people receive an in-kind startup pack that enables them to establish a similar business in their village. The pack will consist of animals (piglets, chicken, fishes or rabbits) or plants for horticulture to start their own farm. With a monitoring and evaluation system the contact with the graduated students will continue. There will be support from the center or colleagues. The model will be an important step to get more impact and will improve the approach of the training.
Gudula does this work without any governmental support and at the end she has to achieve a sustainable income. Based on the McKenzie 7S Framework (Strategy, Structure, Systems, Style, Staff, Skills and Shared Values) we came up with suggestions to improve the organization. For example, speaking about Systems: it is very important that Gudula will invest in a (digital) administration system for a daily view upon the costs, yields and losses.
The ambition of Gudie Leisure Farm is high in terms of making an impact on the country and creating employment for youth. Jaap: “The model we created together can optimize their apprentice-program to really make an impact in the villages, if the model is well managed. The attitude to get good profit from the farm however needs more attention”.
Jaap has been a volunteer at PUM since 2009 and has done 12 projects in: Rwanda, Benin, Nepal, Philippines, South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Uganda. He says about that work: “Deploying your experience to companies with a developing demand gives me a lot of energy and satisfaction, especially if you notice that your contribution is successful. In addition, every time it is a special and pleasant experience to be part of a different culture. The warmth and hospitality of the people you visit is impressive. That also often applies to the will to develop the company.”
Film: Peter Vlam Productions
Text: Gabrielle ten Bokkel Huinink