Uganda has one of the youngest and most rapidly growing populations in the world. About 53% of Uganda’s population is under the age of 15, and every year 500,000 people are expected to enter the job market. The numbering entering the job market far outweigh the jobs available leading to unemployment, under employment and related issues.
To combat the rise in unemployment and number of young workers there is a renewed focus on promoting entrepreneurship amongst young people to create more valuable employment in Uganda.
Sheema Financial Services Co-op Society Ltd, one of UCCFS’s first members, weren’t always a cooperative; they began as a small business with only 100 customers. However, the community and members were soon asking for it to become a cooperative, so they converted to form a SACCO and haven’t looked back.
Since becoming a cooperative and a member of UCCFS, Sheema has grown their membership to over 2000, greatly improving a large portion of the community’s access to financial services.
As you snake along the dusty red roads of Sheema, your view will be filled with lush green leaves from matooke tress, covering rolling hills where farms hide amongst the trees. Sheema is a largely rural area, with many working in agriculture. It can be a tough life, but for members of Sheema Financial Services Coop Society it has become a little easier. Here, success has been defined, in many ways, by the conception of a local SACCO and the community’s introduction to the greater Ugandan Cooperative Movement.
To some this sheet laid with buckets of coal may not look like much, but for one entrepreneurial lady this is her small success story.
If you drive just outside the centre of Mukono town, down the main road, you will notice that not much is going on. There is the occasional shop or farm, but there is not much else to see; however, there is quite a bit more to smell.