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STEP in Uganda (2012-2015)

Since spring 2012, STEP is offered at Uganda Martyrs University in Nkozi, Uganda. The entrepreneurship training is part of a cooperation agreement between the German Commission for UNESCO and the BASF Stiftung who jointly support the promotion of start-ups in Kenya and Uganda. In 2008, STEP had celebrated its premier in Uganda. It had been jointly developed by scientists from Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Makerere University, Uganda Christian University and Kyambogo University.

The introduction of STEP in Uganda includes three rounds of training from 2012 to 2014. In addition to Uganda Martyrs University, the Uganda National Commission, which coordinates the implementation of STEP and the cooperation between all stakeholder, plays the most important role. Leuphana University of Lüneburg is responsible for the training of STEP-trainers as well as for the scientific evaluation of the training. Subsequent to the third training round, STEP should become an integral part of the university’s curriculum so that students can participate in STEP as part of their academic career.

In total, around 530 students of higher semesters have participated in the training. In twelve modules, they have learned how to write a business plan. In addition to business skills, STEP aims to increase students’ motivation. The goal of STEP is that students gain confidence in their own capabilities and realize that they are able to become successful entrepreneurs. In the course of the training, students already practice by starting their own business. In small groups and with a starting capital of 100 USD, they identify and pursue a business opportunity. In the training in 2012, groups generated an average profit of 28 USD, in 2013 of 43 USD, and in 2014 they made 17 USD of profit.

Against the backdrop of difficult labour market conditions in Uganda, STEP offers young academics an attractive alternative. A successful business ensures not only one's own income but also creates additional jobs, thereby contributing to the reduction of unemployment in the country. The short- and longterm evaluations of STEP confirm the positive impact on the entrepreneurial mind-set and actions of STEP-students. In comparison to classmates who have not participated in the training, STEP graduates show more entrepreneurial planning and activities. STEP-graduates of the training in 2012 started 45% more businesses than their fellow students who had not taken part in STEP.

© Uganda National Commission for UNESCO

In autumn 2014, the third training round was completed. In the upcoming months, the focus is on the sustainable integration of STEP into the university’s curriculum. The overarching objective is that students will have the possibility to participate in STEP as a regular study module.
   
In 2015 - for the very first time - STEP is also implemented at a Secondary School in Uganda. The German Commission for UNESCO supported Leuphana University of Lüneburg in the conduction of the train the trainers-workshop for the school’s teachers.

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