Cityborn project

Congratulations! This Entry has been selected as a finalist.

Cityborn project: International Youth Empowerment Network (YEN)

Kampala, UgandaKampala , Uganda
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

CityBorn is a multi-disciplinary initiative in International Youth Empowerment Network (YEN) aimed at accelerating social change through engagement of Ugandan youth of age 14 to 30 years in commercial agriculture and transformational learning. We want to empower youth to mine the gold in agriculture

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if agriculture made youth rich?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

About 40,000 students graduate from Ugandan Universities each year and only 8,000 of them obtain jobs. Informal low paying employment accounts for the highest proportion of employed youths. Urban youth are more likely to be unemployed (12%) than rural youth (3%). Youth participation in agriculture is constrained by a lack of skills in agribusiness, challenges in accessing land, finance and limited awareness of sector opportunities.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The initiative establishes networks of youth to create innovative agri-nutrition businesses for employment while catalyzing social change through transformational training and linkages to communities of practice in Uganda. The initiative is the first to create model of youth peers from higher institutions of learning supporting their counterparts who are school drop-outs improve their technical and 21st century skills for improved market uptake and sustainability of enterprises especially in urban centers. The initiative is empowering youth to take on agriculture as a business across different value chains in rural and urban areas by establishing networks with people and agencies engaged in different value chains.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Namuddu a graduate joined the program, through her savings was able to start a rabbit farming business after the hands on training and mentorship from YEN.She was able to help a youth who dropped out of school and had a mini kiosk which she transformed into a certified modern rabbit meat butchery. But because of good quality rabbit meat, Namuddu’s supply could not sustain the ever increasing demand therefore with help from YEN, she went to the village and inspired some youth to start rabbit farms so that they can supply them to cater for the increasing demand of the rabbit meat at the butchery. Namuddu and YEN were now able to mentor the youth who are now able to grow their rabbit farms and increase their incomes.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The initiative is empowering youth to take on agriculture as a business across different value chains in rural and urban areas by establishing networks with people and agencies engaged in different value chains and agricultural extension services. The youth will add value to the produce and market them collectively while providing solutions to nutrition challenges. The initiative will accelerate identification and addressing of challenges faced by youth while empowering them to bring about social change in their communities. The center by the end of the first year will have helped 20 youth agric-nutrition enterpreneurs in urban centres and 30 youth in rural areas. These motivated youth will act as ambassadors and will help 100s of other youth, startup own business, get employed and provide social change initiatives in the country.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Uganda’s agricultural sector has performed modestly over the years at about 2.6% per annum. However, the rates of growth are below the population growth rate of about 3.4 percent per annum. This means that per capita food production in the country has declined. However, if more investments are made in agriculture and it grows at 6 percent per year, Uganda will reduce the number of the absolute poor by 2.9 million, from 10.15 million to 7.25 million. Therefore, mobilizing the youth and increasing investments in agriculture is a sure way of effectively reducing poverty in Uganda.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The project will tap into existing youth development initiatives to reduce cost of mobilization and development of materials. The project will enter into partnership with selected organisations to reduce cost by using their facilities where necessary. The teams of youth will produce food products for income generation to sustain the initiative. YEN plans to set up a demonstration farm which will be a source of income.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There exist some national level programs engaging youth in agriculture. Subsequently, there are several stakeholders engaging youth in the implementation of these programs and strategies. However, the existing programs and strategies do not consciously focus on youth most especially urban youth. In addition, there is a death of information in respect to the number of youth benefiting from these programs and their impact on the participating youth livelihood. Thus, the key existing supportive national policies with direct influence on youth engagement in agribusiness still have some gaps.

Founding Story

We are a multi-talented team dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people in Uganda. We pooled our diverse talents and experiences to make a complete team. We share the struggle for success with millions of other professionals in Uganda but we chose to rise above the tide. From our younger brothers and sisters who are yet to complete college or University unsure of what career path to take, we are holding their hands. Giving them a stepping stone towards a life fulfilling career. We build capacity, we nurture, and we offer that one thing that no one ever teaches you in school, “Shaping your knowledge, skill and attitude to touching lives and enjoying what you do”


We have a complete team of multitalented, enthusiastic and daring members ready to help themselves and younger professionals. The team is educated—PhD, Masters, Undergraduate in various fields. We have 5 core staff and 10 volunteers supported by a board of advisers. “The harder our struggle, the more glorious our triumph”