As a part of her strategy to become financially stable, ACFODE plans on adopting a social enterprise model. Thus, in order to get ACFODE staff and members ready for this major change, a training on social enterprise was organized.
The training was led by Ms. Irene Mutumba and Ms. Allen Bako from the Private Education Development Network (PEDN); and sought to build the capacities of ACFODE staff and members on social enterprise; who would in turn pass on the newly acquired skills and knowledge to their target audiences, as well as family and friends.
At the training, ACFODE staff and members were introduced to different models of social enterprises, the myths as well as the challenges.
Participants learned that a social enterprise is an organization that is run like a business but has a social purpose: started by people whose mission is to support communities, conserve the environment (planet) and make money (profit), a concept explained as the 3Ps. It was further noted by the facilitators that a good social enterprise begins with a good social business idea. The first step is to define the social conditions or problems that you want to address through your social enterprise.
The team was tasked to generate social enterprise ideas. They came up with enterprises aimed at addressing soil infertility, environmental degradation and hygiene in communities, unreliable domestic workers, and the rampant child abuse. The team proposed use of urine to address soil infertility, establishment of a recruitment and training center for domestic work and creation of community child care centers to address child abuse respectively. The participants were also able to start savings groups to finance the social enterprise ideas.
The facilitator cautioned that while coming up with social enterprise ideas, one ought to always ask themselves, where is the innovation? What will put you a step ahead? Is it relevant to the current social situation? And most importantly will it make you money?
The workshop included a panel discussion from two young successful social entrepreneurs; Ms. Grace Nanyonga from Grana Fish Supplies Ltd and Ms. Kobusingye Lovin from Kati Farm. They shared their inspiring journeys of how hard work, determination and resourcefulness took them from nothing to running successful businesses.
Speaking to the participants after the workshop Robinah Ndikuwera said “I have learnt the 3Ps of social enterprise which are planet, people and profit as opposed to what I earlier knew that is product, profit and placement,” .
“The aspect of considering the environment is key especially when doing business, yet is something that is greatly ignored,” –Julius Kisembo.
In closing, Ms. Regina Bafaki, Executive Director ACFODE said “The workshop has left all the participants spinning with ideas and I am positive the members present will pull ideas and resources together to make at least one of these enterprises a reality.” she thanked the facilitators, staff and members for contributing ideas that benefit the organization. She hoped that ACFODE would launch a social enterprise at ACFODE@30 celebrations later this year.
Although worries still remain on issues such as starting capital, all ACFODE staff and members now feel ready to make changes.
“The training was very informative. I have learnt many new things. Now I feel less anxious about the upcoming changes at both personal and organizational level. Although there might be challenges waiting ahead, I am ready to deal with them,” shared Susan Asio, one of ACFODE’s staff at the end of the training.
Human Rights & Governance Department