On thursday, the National Social Security Fund- NSSF announced a partnership with Ideawake, a global innovation software company, to expand access to the NSSF Hi-Innovator programme to more entrepreneurs across the country.
In 2021, the Fund launched the NSSF Hi-Innovator programme, an innovation initiative in partnership with Mastercard Foundation that aims to create an environment where indigenous Small and Growing Businesses can be supported to mature into viable businesses. Outbox Uganda is the lead implementing partner.
The programme targets to impact over 75,000 entrepreneurs and provide seed funding to 500 budding businesses and create over 132,000 jobs over 5 years.
The NSSF Deputy Managing Director Patrick Ayota said that the Ideawake platform will be used to streamline applications from entrepreneurs into the Hi-Innovator Programme, as well as enable them to reorganize these businesses to become attractive to funders and investors.
“We see Ideawake as a critical technology component of the Hi-Innovator programme from application to evaluation and support to prepare the business for seed funding. This end-to-end automation will enable us to enhance the programme to more deserving entrepreneurs across the country,” he said.
The Ideawake Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Coby Skonord said that their expertise gained over the years across several countries will enable NSSF Hi-Innovator to accelerate its reach.
“Ideawake is already powering many innovation programmes in 39 countries including Germany, the United States of America, Italy, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Oman and in over 185 cities. We are very excited to help NSSF Uganda turbocharge the success of its innovation program and foster continued growth for businesses and entrepreneurs in Uganda,” Coby said.
Ayota also said Ideawake will be leveraged by the Fund to catalyze its internal innovation program and continuously engage its over 500 employees to deliver value to its members.
“The essence of our Hi-Innovator Programme is to create our own future through internal and external innovations while helping entrepreneurs grow their budding businesses. Ideawake is the ideal partner on this journey,” he added.
Since its launch in May 2021, 32 businesses have received seed funding and technical assistance worth over Ushs 3.6 billion through the Hi-Innovator Programme, helping to sustain and improve over 20,000 work opportunities for young people in Uganda.