The world of work is changing

Today job creation lies at the heart of Uganda’s development challenge. About 400,000 youths enter annually into the job market to compete for approximately 9,000 available jobs. More so, 30% of the qualified youths are unable to find jobs, and the situation is even worse for semi-skilled and unskilled youths.
The causes of unemployment in Uganda are believed to be multifaceted, ranging from low skilled workers, lack of market-ready skills to match the evolving nature of work, and inadequate investment/supply side of jobs.

Our Thinking

The future of work offers unparalleled opportunities in form of new technological advances and a stream of new business, upon which human capital can be leveraged to create faster job growth and inclusion outcomes in Uganda. 

The Innovation Village in collaboration with MasterCard Foundation is launching an Accelerator program that will support promising technology startups to increase workforce access, readiness and success.

We are particularly interested in 

New streams of businesses that can create opportunities for thousands of youth.

Equipping the next generation with capabilities and market ready skills.

Technical upskilling, apprenticeships and credentialing in new industries with untapped opportunities.


How might we create a dignified and fulfilling world of work for young people?

Why join the program

Pre- seed funding

Startups accepted into the program will be offered up to $ 25,000 in pre seed funding.

Mentors and Networks

Connections to impact investors, business leaders, social enterprises and strategic partners

Free working space

As part of the program, you will be offered free working space at The Innovation Village.

Peer Learning

Work alongside and learn from peer entrepreneurs around the Country

Extensive one-on-one training

Startups will get intensive one-on-one business training from experienced serial entrepreneurs.

Continued Support

Post-accelerator support with growth strategy, ecosystem connections through the CDA network, and peer advisory.

Who should apply

We are looking for promising startups that can develop solutions aligned to the following challenge theme areas.


Job creation and Opportunity matching 

  • Making invisible jobs visible.
  • New stream of business that create jobs opportunities for hundreds of thousands of youth.
  • Innovative business models that accelerate entrepreneurship.
  • Deliver opportunities to youth from under-represented backgrounds to real-world of work and support networks.
  • Link exceptional graduates and undergraduate students with Uganda’s leading organizations through internships, volunteer and training opportunities.

Leveraging technology to create jobs for all

  • Provide opportunities to vulnerable youth to equip them with the relevant skills needed to find a job, set up a business or engage in productive work.
  • Platforms and programs for digital skilling, upskilling and reskilling.
  • Empower young people to be more innovative and creative in how they think, learn and work.
  • Design and deliver engaging educational programs and events that bring exposure, inspiration, and training in STEM that inspires new forms of work.
Youth Africa (1)

Selection Criteria

Relevance and impact


How well does the solution respond to the challenge theme areas​


Solution shows a good understanding of market and customer it is targeting


Demonstrate a strong promise of building a sustainable and impactful business.

  • The solution should be practical and easily implementable
    thereby positively impacting the lives of the youth.

Advisory Board

Readiness and traction

The solution

Participating team should share a presentation of their proposed solution.

The Startup

The startups should in operation for at least 1 year. This team should consist of at least 4 members with various skillsets, demonstrate added value and cohesiveness.

Business Model

The startup should be have a good idea of the business model envisaged for the solution – with a good idea of the key resources needed to grow the solution, and how they intend to monetize it.  


Ingenuity of the solution or improvement of existing technology-based process, Solution uniqueness.



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The Mastercard foundation seeks a world where everyone has opportunity to learn and prosper. The Mastercard Foundation’s new strategy, Young Africa Works, outlines how, over the next decade, we will focus on finding solutions to the youth employment challenge and reducing poverty in Africa.

The Innovation Village

The Innovation Village is a startup ecosystem builder. Our core strategy is designed to support economic growth and job creation in Africa in a commercially sustainable way, with the vision of deepening the application of technology in social economic transformation


The Innovation Village
Ntinda Complex
P.O. Box 25760 Kampala, Uganda


Dan Wasswa |+256 786 881540
[email protected]