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2020 Game Changers : Entrepreneurs who have inspired us through the year

“When the world locks down, that’s the time game changers start”- Stephen Ahweera.

The 21st century continues to experience improvement in the quality of life because of the unconventional thinking of entrepreneurs. It is because of this reason, that today’s greatest game changers have been bred. Entrepreneurs have the vision and willingness to create and reinvent solutions with the  tremendous courage to take risks. Small businesses and ambitious enterprises are at the heart of every industry. Not only do they immensely contribute to the overall revenue of a country, but also give back to the community through their solutions. Many undergraduates leave university in the quest for jobs and yet there are opportunities to explore different skills that they might be passionate about. Additionally, after the pandemic hit, the unemployment rate among the youth burgeoned to 13%. However, even with such a weighty predicament, we have seen entrepreneurs emerge at their best with the solutions to these effects

2020 has not given entrepreneurs the best environment to work in, but with perseverance, they have created their own and worked with what they had to create impact. At the beginning of the year, everyone had goals and resolutions but as the year got tougher, they were forced to work harder. They proved that tough times not only call for tough measures but also, tough entrepreneurs. For most of us, it has been about pushing ourselves to be better than yesterday and we have fervently made it through the turmoil.. Many developing countries have not benefited from the fruits of entrepreneurial solutions however, Uganda has been an exception. It has successfully improved its GDP to 20% because entrepreneurs have played an important role in orchestrating its economic growth. The success of an entrepreneur is in creating a solution that adds value to the lives of people whether it is contributing to the economy or creating job opportunities.

On Thursday 17th December, we celebrated this year’s Game Changers. As an ecosystem builder determined to unlock potential among startups and entrepreneurs and most importantly support transformation of ideas into workable solutions, recognising some of the people in our communities making a difference driven by passion was imperative.

We give a recap of the four entrepreneurs that stood out amidst the chaos in 2020;

From the west, Asiat Gamba, a lady that started Lugazi Training and Youth Skilling Group was recognised. She has trained fellow youth in Mbarara in the craft which in turn enables making ends meet. Apart from the youth, she has helped people in prisons get hands on skills in making craft so that they are able to survive and get a source of income on release. Asiat is a good example of people who are solving the unemployment gap in her community.

From the east, we recognised Anthony Thompson, founder of The Creative Tribe. He has tirelessly worked to develop art and put creativity at the forefront not only in Jinja but Uganda as well. His company is behind the Stone Festival, Jinja Film Festival and Poetry Night events among others. He has given creatives an opportunity to publish their content online through the magazine The Creatives East.

From the north Gloria Adyero, proprietor of Loremi Tours was recognised She saw a gap in the tourism sector in Kitgum, seized the opportunity and created a tourism company. However, even with the pandemic straining her business since she mostly depended on foreign tourists, she has managed to thrive by selling local artistic products.

From Kampala, we recognised  Stephen Ahweera, a police officer that has helped women and girls in his society achieve their full economic potential through Inspired Women.

It’s interesting that even though a game changer is generally talked about in terms of technology, what you find among those recognised is an entrepreneur who actually changed the game with or without technology.

The youth should understand that constraints should not limit their dreams and by taking an entrepreneurial and innovative approach to solving the most pressing challenges in our communities, you can make a huge difference and change the world for the better, a reason as to why   we launched MyVillage , an online platform that enables young entrepreneurs, investors, corporate companies and public sector partners to connect, collaborate and access various needed services regardless of their physical location or role in the ecosystem.

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted and we appreciate all the entrepreneurs that have endured several predicaments to create a better society for us all and we are grateful for the solutions that have enabled a better environment. For those that haven’t started, may you be the creative player and game changer in 2021.