In order to fight youth unemployment, a group of youth innovated a SACCO called Mushana Youth SACCO the first digitalized youth financial institution in Uganda.
According Janson Mugabe the lead innovator and Chief Executive Officer of the SACCO says there was need to embrace the digital era and form an electronic SACCO system that helps youths to access financial services at anytime and anywhere to save time and cut costs.
“We have digitalized our SACCO (www.mushanapp.net) where our members can apply for loans, check account balance and initiate withdraws without going to any of our offices.” Mugabe says
He adds, “we later realized that there was need to cater for all youth including those in remote areas with limited resources like internet, that’s why we have initiated mobile banking on which they can send their money directly to the SACCO account and as well as accessing credit using mobile phones.”
Mugabe says this youth financial institution empowers youth with innovative ideas but without financial capacity and access to bank loans due to lack of collateral security, an issue that has denied many youths access to loans including those given out by government through the youth livelihood program under Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
“Majority of our fellow youths in Uganda do not have any formal bank accounts through which they can access credit or even small loans from the mainstream commercial banks. This is the main reason why we came up with the idea to solve this problem by starting up a Youth SACCO which we named Mushana Youth SACCO” Mugabe said.
Speaking at the event to celebrate one year of successful financial intervention over the weekend in Kampala, Dr Ben Mbonye the Managing Director of Nakasero Hospital who doubles as the SACCO patron reiterated the need for youth to find alternatives to job seeking citing job creation and self-employment.
He pointed out technical training and vocational skilling as some of the ways that will help the country to have youth with a vision of self-employment.
“By training and equipping our youth with technical skills and offering them startup capital after training to start their own businesses, am very sure that we shall do away with this high rate of unemployment and am willing to work with Mushana SACCO to achieve this” Dr Mbonye said.
Godwin Naturinda the SACCO chairman explained that act of collateral is a major constraint to entrepreneurship globally which they seek to address squarely through this SACCO with purposes of guaranteeing one another to take loans and a revolving fund to start up business that will employ fellow youth and hope to reduce youth un employment by 95%.
Kworoba Mark Laizo a member of the SACCO told our reporter that his vision is to see all youths join the Mushana SACCO pointing out some of his achievements such as financial discipline and dealing with focused minds dedicated to transforming the society.