Uganda and Rwanda

Grade Level of Students Participating

Secondary grades 9-12, with a focus on grades 11-12

Number of Students Participating per Year

Uganda: In 2016, Educate! will reach over 172,000 youth. This number includes the following:

      1. Over 14,000 scholars enrolled into its intensive skills course.
      2. 108,000 youth across 350 schools through school-wide components of the program
      3. 50,000 youth will be reached through Educate!’s support of national education reform.

Rwanda: In 2016, Educate! will reach over 70,000 students by assisting the government in implementing several successful components of Educate!’s model into the national entrepreneurship curriculum. Through its teacher professional development program called the “Educate! Exchange,” it is providing teacher professional development to 120 teachers across 120 schools, reaching an additional 7200 youth.

Year Organization Began


Relationship to the public education system

Educate! implements its program model directly in schools, advises governments on national education policy and curriculum reform, and builds capacity among teachers to implement government reforms through the “Experience Association” program in Uganda and through the “Educate! Exchange” targeted teacher professional development program in Rwanda.

Organization’s Vision and Mission

Purpose: To transform education in Africa to teach youth the skills to solve poverty for themselves and their communities.
Mission: To develop socially responsible and ethical young leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa.
At Educate!’s core is a desire to train leaders who will create a better world.

Brief Description of Program Activities

Educate!’s model is designed to build and strengthen the capacity of communities to provide opportunities for youth to learn practical skills and create their own businesses. It is designed to lead to improved livelihoods, including increased employment, increased business ownership and job creation, increased community participation, and improved business and employability skills for youth. Educate! implements its model by working with governments and also by partnering with and working through existing secondary schools.

Each year, it engages a new cohort of 40 students called “Scholars” in each of its partner schools and provides youth with skills training in leadership, entrepreneurship, and workforce readiness along with mentorship to start real businesses in schools over the course of a year and a half. Students are selected using a competitive process that prioritizes gender balance, student need, and youths’ interest in the program.

The core components of Educate!’s model include the following:

  1. Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Workforce Readiness Course: An Educate! Trained mentor provides entrepreneurship, workforce readiness, and leadership training to 40 scholars. - This curriculum includes 80-minute lessons delivered weekly.
  2. Mentorship: Trained youth mentors mentor Scholars through the challenges they face in starting enterprises and community initiatives, and Scholars provide peer mentorship for younger students.
  3. Practical Experience Starting an Enterprise: Scholars gain experience starting enterprises in team settings through Student Business Clubs, and are encouraged to start personal enterprises during breaks and upon graduation.
  4. Practically Trained Mentors: 
    1. The Mentors who teach the Leadership, Entrepreneurship, & Workforce Readiness Course receive intensive training including a 2-week intensive residential training in addition to approximately 5 weeks of other training and professional development from Educate! staff to teach Scholars effectively, using student-centered teaching methods and focusing on creating learning experiences for the Scholars.
    2. Many of the Mentors are former Scholars. As recent graduates of the program they are teaching, the Mentors can relate closely to their Scholars and give practical, relevant advice grounded in their own experience of starting a business in the same context as their Scholars.
    3. Mentors also participate in the Youth Business Experience where they receive advanced skills training, connections to local partnerships, and stipends to serve as capital to further their business.
  5. Experience Association: At least one teacher and one administrator per school learn to use interactive teaching methods, facilitate group mentorship sessions, guide students through starting an enterprise and build support structures in schools. The Experience Association also brings the teachers and school administrators together in regular meetings to build a collaborative environment and a community of practice around experiential skills-based education.

Program Content: Intrapersonal Competencies

Creativity, initiative, resilience, self-awareness, confidence, social responsibility, grit

Program Content: Interpersonal Competencies

Problem solving, critical thinking, networking and relationships, opportunity identification, project management, public speaking, teamwork, resource mobilization, presentation

Program Content: Cognitive Competencies

Budgeting and bookkeeping, business planning, product making, health skills, researching, savings, market research, financial literacy

Program Content: Attitudes and Values

The importance of leading and mentoring others as a way to give back to the community. Sustainable development.

Student businesses are evaluated on the “triple bottom line”—impact on people, planet, and profit. Social responsibility is a continuous thread throughout the program, both through teaching content on topics such as the environment, poverty, fighting corruption, ethical leadership, health, and gender issues, as well as through experience giving back to the community such as annual Community Days. Perhaps the best evidence of the effectiveness of the Educate! model at creating socially responsible leaders is the number of graduates who become volunteer Mentors to Scholars, giving back to other students the experience from which they benefited.

Program Content: Pedagogy/Active Engagement of Students3

Scholars gain the experience of starting a student business club and recruiting approximately 60 other students to join their business club. The student business club is the primary experiential platform for students to build on their business and employability skills that will enable them to meet the demands of the labor market or create their own jobs if that market fails them. With the support from the Educate! Mentor and an Associate Teacher, students start one or more enterprises in teams. In the final term, students prepare for the annual National Student Business competition, organized by Educate!, which enables them to build on business they have learned like public speaking and presentation. Scholars are also encouraged to mentor lower secondary students to create impact in school and develop communication and management skills.

Additional Notes

In addition to directly implementing the Educate! model in schools, Educate! is building the capacity of national education systems to better prepare youth for employment. It advocates to governments by acting as a technical advisor on national education reforms. In this role, Educate! proposes solutions for integrating skills-based learning in national curriculum, provides teacher professional development opportunities, and assessments.

In Uganda, for example, Educate! worked with the National Curriculum Development Center to integrate key elements of the Educate! model into the O’level (lower secondary) curriculum, which will roll out nationally in 2018. It is the first Social Entrepreneurship curriculum to be taught in formal schools anywhere in the world.

As Uganda rolls out revised curricula and assessment to schools, Educate!’s Teacher Associations will build teachers capacity in adopting these reforms. This includes regular trainings and an annual Global Education Conference that brings together education-system stakeholders with teachers and administrators. These structures facilitate more effective rollout of education reforms.

Results from Educate!’s Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) designed with Innovations for Poverty Action show that students who completed the program earned more than twice as much as a control group and the effect on girls was even larger: a 120% income increase over the control group. The RCT also showed that Educate! graduates are 64% more likely to start businesses as the result of its program, compared to a control group. Girls again showed an even greater effect—female graduates were 152% more likely than girls in the control group to own a business.

Reference List

1Unless noted otherwise, all information provided in this table are based on the website and phone interview with Loren Crary, Director of External Relations, on May 27, 2016.

2Educate! Recent concept note, an internal document received from Loren Crary in May 2016.

3This section of the organizational profile was written based on information provided on the website, phone interview with Loren Crary, and the Educate! Recent concept note.

Prepared by

Seungah Lee and Connie K. Chung