RISE-UP: Investing in refugees

by Pidson Abaho

from Tuyiiye Uganda www.riseupforrefugees.org

Our solution

The 'RISE-UP' project is a social enterprise that uses sustainable and innovative business models to create economic opportunities for urban refugees. Urban refugees are empowered with relevant professional skills in various technical disciplines, supported to nurture know-how in the production of quality products and they will be connected to a high-value market. RISE-UP aims to set up production centers and shops on and offline to help sale products made by refugees.

What's the business opportunity for host and refugee community

The host community generates income through training refugees, renting the premises and getting employed within the project work. The refugees generate income when the products they make are sold. Further more, the training enables refugees and nationals to create more businesses which serve the whole community. By doing business together, the refugees will be easily integrated into the host communities. The livelihoods of both nationals and refugees will also be improved through business.

How has it been implemented and what impact it had

We have already set up two production centers where refugees make clothes,crafts and jewelry. These production centers are already employing 10 refugees. We also have a selling point known as the RISE-UP hub located in the middle of Kampala. This is where products made by refugees are sold from (www.riseuphub.org). RISE-UP has already trained over 200 refugees in leadership and entrepreneurship skills and is attaching 100 refugees to local organisations for apprenticeship.

Our Skills and Experience

I am a graduate mechanical engineer with a wide exposure in innovation, machine design and fabrication which are the major requirement for technical skilling and innovation. I am the team lead of Tuyiiye Uganda which has been implementing a livelihoods improvement program in slums and is an implementation partner of RISE-UP. The RISE-UP project is being implemented by a multi disciplinary team which has experience in social development projects, business and engineering.