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Welcome to Challenges’ Youth to Work section. Here you will find information about this exciting programme and how you can apply.

What is Youth to Work?

Youth to Work programme is a partnership between young people and private enterprises in Kampala to support youth employability.

The programme aims to demonstrate the dynamic contribution youth can make to economic development.

The programme supports exceptional young professionals and Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) in Uganda, Ghana and Zambia to drive positive change in businesses and communities across Kampala, Accra and Lusaka. In addition the programme also targets key spillover benefits within the wider business community.

Youth to Work is being delivered by our teams in Uganda, Zambia and Ghana and is supported by the Standard Chartered Foundation under their Future Makers initiative.

Futuremakers by Standard Chartered logo

How it works

Each young professional will be trained in key accredited business, consultancy and employability skills and undertake a Five- month placement in a SGB. In the business, the young professional will conduct a structured and supported assessment of the enterprise’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as he/she identifies areas for improvement. Together with a programme staff and the business owner they will develop and deliver an action plan to help the enterprise improve and prepare for investment readiness and growth.

Additional activities that will take place during the placement include:

  • Delivering network strengthening activities that improve the SGB’s partnerships, communications and opportunities
  • Deliver key workforce development workshops to students in universities and tertiary institutions across Kampala

Programme benefits for young people and businesses

The programme offers fantastic opportunities for young professionals and ambitious businesses alike.



The Youth to Work programme will support young people by:

  • Equipping young people with key accredited business, consultancy and employability skills to overcome barriers to employment and/or entrepreneurship
  • Positioning these young people in Small and Growing Businesses where they will provide structured and targeted business development services to the enterprise. This will help prepare the enterprise for development and to become investment-ready  in order to grow their businesses, impact, and ultimately support better job creation.
  • Providing these skilled young people with a platform where they will deliver training and share their knowledge and expertise with hundreds of young people who will be entering the labour market in the years ahead.
  • Giving young people access and exposure to potential employers and wider networks


The Youth to Work programme will support enterprises through:

  • Companies receive five-months of key on-site business development services that help prepare them for investment readiness
  • Companies have the opportunity to develop their peer networks
  • Providing support to business leaders to enable them to identify personal barriers and strengths to growing their company and maintain momentum and motivation to improve

By the end of the program, each participating company will have a clear digital record of their financial and operational performance and their progress in organizational development, a comprehensive data room and a full suite of investment documentation. This will mean that the company will be in an improved position to present itself effectively to investors and to satisfy any diligence process included in a future transaction, which we define as improved “investment readiness”



The Youth to Work programme will provide all successful young professionals with:

  • An intensive training programme in professional consulting and business improvement skills, using accredited learning modules from the Chartered Management Institute
  • Access to best-practice resources to guide you on your business placement
  • Ongoing training, mentoring and support from Challenges during your enterprise placement
  • Unprecedented opportunity to gain valuable insight into all areas of an enterprise, and work alongside a senior management team to develop and deliver an action plan
  • An opportunity to develop your current skill-set with the view to improving employability after the programme
  • The opportunity to complete an internationally recognised Chartered Management Institute accredited qualification Level 5 in professional consultancy or management and leadership, validating your new skills and abilities after your successful completion of the programme.
  • A bi-weekly stipend to cover expenses related to your placement.


In the above tabs you will find more information about how you can apply as a young person or enterprise as well as other programme details.