Social enterprise in Uganda: Young people are changing the world

DEICHMANN Foundation promotes entrepreneurship among Uganda’s youth



Together with the Social Innovation Academy (SINA), DEICHMANN Foundation is supporting a scheme promoting social enterprise in Uganda. Disadvantaged young people are trained and empowered to become committed businesspeople and entrepreneurs.


Refugees, orphans, street children and young people from precarious backgrounds are given a chance to make their mark in business. Their ideas will fall on a friendly ear and be encouraged. For the first time in their life.
Outcome: They launch start-ups, generate revenue and create jobs. Firms are profitable and sales and headcount are growing steadily. They all manufacture goods or provide services that have a social and environmental impact on entire communities. The high-success path of the participants, which will be supported sustainably, starts with their personal development.

Social enterprise Uganda - Hand drawing of the African continent - Uganda is highlighted

Social challenges need new solutions

In Uganda, 60% of people live below the poverty line of $ 2.15 per day. The illiteracy level has almost topped 40%. Children leave school early to work and help provide food for their families. Farming is the most important economic sector. But drought regularly threatens harvests. Over one third of infants are malnourished. The large influx of refugees further exacerbates the situation. Uganda has opened its borders to people in even greater need. Over 1.5 million people have entered the country to date.

Social enterprise Uganda - Hand drawing of Uganda - Kampala is highlighted
Deichmann Foundation supports social enterprise Uganda - Hand drawing - 60% - of - the - people - live - on - € - 2 - a - day

60% of people live on less
than 2 euros per day

Deichmann Foundation supports social enterprise Uganda - Hand drawing - 30% - of - children - are - severely - malnourished
30% children are severely malnourished
Deichmann Foundation supports social enterprise Uganda - Hand drawing - 80% - of - the - people - have - no - access - to - sanitary - facilities
80% has NO access
to sanitary facilities
Deichmann Foundation supports social enterprise Uganda - hand drawing - a - doctor - for - 10,000 - patients
There is one doctor
for every 10,000 patients
Deichmann Foundation supports social enterprise Uganda - Hand drawing - 60% - NO - access - to - clean - drinking - water
60% has NO access
to clean drinking water
Deichmann Foundation supports social enterprise Uganda - Hand drawing - Literacy rate - at - 80 %"

The literacy rate
is about 80%

How the Foundation helps

Building Uganda’s future through hearts and minds

DEICHMANN Foundation supports the on-the-ground Social Innovation Academy (SINA) programme for social and ecological innovations. Young people are taught to solve structural problems in the country. In 2023 alone, 28 businesses took part in the programme, achieving economic growth of 87%. SINA empowers and accompanies people though coaching and training to become businessmen and businesswomen. Innovative ideas and start-ups are supported from one fund. Participants receive a credit that they repay as soon as their business starts to be profitable.

Social enterprise Uganda - several people stand at a round table and look at documents and rolls of paper together as a team - experience-based learning
Social enterprise Uganda - several people look at documents together - Discussion - Planning

Driving social and economic return

After a few years, every dollar invested by SINA delivers a significant return. 50% of SINA alumni start a business, creating jobs. Over 700 jobs have been created by SINA businesses.

Personal development as a success factor

Young people between the ages of 16 and 27, including refugees, orphans and others from challenging backgrounds, find their way to SINA through word-of-mouth and become part of a dependable community that often becomes a family surrogate. Many initially struggle with trauma and the lack of self-confidence.

Supported by trained coaches and trainers, they develop confidence and the courage to implement their own ideas. They experience closeness and interest in them as people, and they grow together to form a strong community.

Deichmann Foundation supports social enterprise Uganda - SINA alumni - beaming girl - proudly holding up Changemaker sign
Deichmann Foundation supports social enterprise Uganda - SINA alumni - beaming girl - proudly holding up Changemaker sign
Young people with a diverse background find a new family at SINA and grow together to form a strong community through support and encouragement.

The impact of aid

Thinking business, shaping social change

Social enterprise Uganda - A person in the foreground is building a wall out of plastic bottles - Circular economy


The “SINA Purpose Pool” is a fund that helps Uganda businesses make the world a better place. Funding will only be provided for projects with a social impact in the following areas:

  • Circular economy
  • Regenerative agriculture
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Financial inclusion
  • Affordable healthcare
Social enterprise Uganda - People at training - Person in the foreground asks a question - Acquiring entrepreneurial skills


  • Decision-making ability
  • Financial management
  • Marketing and sales
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership

The aim is for the sponsored entrepreneurs to repay a monthly revenue share of 5% until they achieve a 1.5 to 2.5 times return-on-sales. The fund reinvests the repayments and it is therefore self-sustaining and independent. Other business may be funded.

Social enterprise Uganda - two people discussing happily - they look motivated - one person explains something to the other - mentoring program


Participants will receive mentoring and learn to manage business activities, including financial accounting and marketing. Networking events and working groups promote sustainable growth and repayments. Quarterly reviews guarantee these aspects. Investors support such African SINA projects, which leads to a thriving community and economic recovery.

Social enterprise in Uganda – A driver for sustainable growth and community empowerment.

Background information

SINA Purpose Pool: Bridging the gap between Ugandan start-ups and global investors

Small and medium-sized enterprises have limited access to finance in Uganda. High capital costs deter many business founders from turning their ideas into reality. At the same time, more and more investors are trying to invest in businesses on the African continent. Many do not know how to navigate the country’s workings and have difficulty finding suitable businesses.
Social enterprise in Uganda – A chance for long-term economic development and innovation.

Uganda is still one of the poorest countries in the world. The expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises is a sustainable investment in the country’s development.

Social enterprise Uganda - several people sitting around a fireplace designed in the shape of the African continent - global investors for Uganda

Voices from the region

From darkness into light: SINA changes lives

Barbra Ntongo trembles like a leaf when approached by adults. And it’s no wonder. Domestic violence, abuse and derision are commonplace in her household.
Dreams? Barbra doesn’t dare.

“I felt I was useless and worthless”.

Luckily, her friend told her about SINA. Against all odds and her family’s resistance, Barbra went to the interview and was accepted. SINA saw great potential in this frightened and traumatised girl. Today, Barbra is now the confident founder of Smart Kitchen Solutions. Her business produces environmentally-friendly briquettes from organic waste for heating and cooking. A smart, sustainable solution that benefits people in Barbra’s community.

Social enterprise Uganda - Deichmann Foundation supports young people


Barbra wants to contribute to the environment for the sake of her country.

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Social enterprise Uganda - Deichmann Foundation supports young people


John mentors young people in their journey towards self-determination.

Every human being counts. John, too. He knows that now.

For a long time, John Sadiki believed that his existence was insignificant and that having dreams was pointless. As a refugee, he only knew the daily struggle for meeting the simplest basic needs: Food, a roof over his head and safety.

“My dreams began to fade away”.

He, too, came to SINA. His salvation. He learned that he is in control of his own destiny and that he can be a “changemaker”. Together with friends, he founded the LazimaNipate Academy in Kampala. An organisation that supports refugees to set up a social enterprise.

A partner to work with

Social Innovation Academy (SINA) – Unleashing potential regardless of origin

Over the last eight years, SINA has helped see the birth of over 70 social enterprises. They are still thriving today and impact the lives of over 1 million people with their goods and services. SINA has received numerous international awards for its alumni. The project was founded in Uganda and now operates in Kenya, the Demoencratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Cape Verde.

Social enterprise Uganda - SINA Logo


DEICHMANN foundation
Deichmannweg 9
Germany 45359 Essen

Phone: +49 201 8676-15222

Account for donations

Deutsche Bank Essen
IBAN DE68 3607 0050 0301 1590 01


Through our work, we continuously contribute to achieving the sustainability goals of the globally coordinated 2030 Agenda.

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