A thriving partnership between Barclays Bank and the International Youth Foundation (IYF) has been expanding access to learning and professional opportunities for young people in Uganda—home to the highest youth unemployment rate in Africa. Together, IYF and Barclays have delivered an intensive entrepreneurship training and business planning workshop for 40 youth in the country's capital, Kampala.

The course, called Build Your Business (BYB), was developed in 2010 with another IYF partner, Microsoft. The BYB curriculum offers a hands-on, interactive approach to acquiring entrepreneurial skills needed to launch, expand, and sustain businesses. IYF-trained facilitators reinforce skills developed through self-guided modules that include videos, market simulations, and case studies. Without being sector-specific, the training is designed for current and aspiring entrepreneurs. To date, 350 facilitators, representing nearly 200 organizations in 20 countries are delivering BYB.

In Uganda, Barclays staff lent their expertise to deliver three BYB modules: “Managing Finances,” “Financing My Business,” and “Identification of Financial Risks and Goals.” Amos Nuwagaba, Assistant Vice President of Barclays Internal Audit in Kampala, has valued the experience. “I enjoy teaching and having an interactive class,” he says “The most rewarding element was discussing business plans, which brought out innovation.”

At the end of the training, the participants formed small groups to draft and submit collective business plans as part of government loan applications. The course format allowed for constructive collaboration as the teams applied the knowledge and skills gained from BYB. To start up their enterprises, each group will receive approximately $1,000, in addition to ongoing mentoring and coaching by Barclay’s staff.

"Partnering with IYF fits right into our citizenship agenda at Barclays Uganda" says Isabellah Ekudde, Vice President of Barclays Internal Audit in Kampala. "We got what we were looking for: an organization seeking to make a difference in a life and to the team."