A community of young social innovators that transform intention into action.

We support them in building social enterprises that find solutions to the most challenging issues of our time. We play, we experiment, we dream big, we work hard. We are 100% human and radically collaborative. We do so by hosting events and organizing workshops to raise awareness for social entrepreneurship, teaching the necessary skills to navigate from vague intentions to promising ventures, providing access to networks and promoting the best teams with the Social Impact Award.

Our core beliefs and theory of change

We believe in the potential of students to make a difference. We build on the assumption and experience that a large majority of students wants to have a positive impact in society and has the talent and energy to do so.

We believe in the entrepreneurial process as an ideal means for students to unleash this potential. The path of developing a social venture helps students connect with their aspirations for a better society and their creative talent. It invites them to take an active role as citizens, get in touch with reality and to collaboratively articulate and test workable solutions to societal challenges. Joining this process in a supportive environment provides students with a potentially transformative learning experience: in tools, concepts and practice of social entrepreneurship, in teamwork, and – most importantly – in their own capability to create positive impact.

We believe that this experience is valuable for students and society, regardless of whether students choose to apply their learning as social entrepreneurs, in public or private organizations or other forms of civic engagement in course or after Social Impact Award. Therefore, we aim to increase the number and preparedness of youth that use their talent for creating impact.

How it works

The Social Impact Award is currently present in over 20 countries and Uganda was the first in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2018. The award is more than a mere cash price but providing support to nurture social entrepreneurs, providing them with training, mentoring and seed funding to launch social ventures with a positive impact.

Applications are open until 17th May 2019 11:59pm for anyone with ideas or social projects to apply.

8 -10 finalists and their teams will be selected by an independent Jury composed of ten high level government officials, investors, social entrepreneurs and academics in early June and go through a residential incubation bootcamp at the Social Innovation Academy (SINA) to get their ideas to the next level and grow their ideas into social enterprises, while being matched with mentors.

All finalists are showcased internationally on the Social Impact Award website and joining a global community of social entrepreneurs.

The Jury then selects three winners, who will be awarded in September and each winner receives a cash prize of $1000 Dollars and will attend the Global Social Impact Summit in Ukraine in Europe in November 2019. During the summit, the projects get further support for their venture development and connect to other global winners and social entrepreneurship stakeholders.

Eligibility to Apply

• Enterprises, ideas and projects working in Uganda to tackle social or environmental problems

• Team members need to be born between 1989 and 2004 (14 to 30 years)

• The project team must have started to work on the idea not earlier than 1st January 2018.

• Applications are open for ideas not yet implemented as well as projects in the early state of implementation

• Submitted projects must not have received funding exceeding 3500 US Dollars from investment, grants, donations, prize money etc. and with no participation in a comparable incubation program

Submitted Ideas and Enterprises will be judged by:
1. Social Impact
2. Innovation
3. Feasibility

Check out our 2019 Finalists

Bamboo Water Tank makes cost-effective local water tank from bamboo for rainwater harvesting.

Bloom Toilet Spray, locally produces disinfectants to prevent infections in latrines and public toilets

Clay Cosmo offers a natural and organic soap using a green clay from DR Congo (called French Clay) that effectively works on eczema, psoriasis and skin complications.
Dr Bahati Project, screens for cancer of cervix in rural districts, taking biopsy samples for early detection to increase chances of successful and affordable treatment for safe motherhood.

Fast Emergency Response System (FERS) is an artificial intelligence powered mobile application that enables real-time matching of ambulances to patients in Kampala, Uganda.

Ouroots Africa partners with nature to organically grow re-usable straws and products replacing single use plastics.

Reform Africa transforms plastic waste polythene bags into sustainable, durable, waterproof bags and accessories

TJA Solar Moquito Kit provides a portable, solar powered, chemical free and naturally made mosquito repellent.

Our Pledge - Principles

Learning, not winning

The slogan "everyone is a winner" might be reserved by the Olympics, but the idea definitely holds true for Social Impact Award. Normal awards generate few winners and many losers. While using the architecture of an award with its many advantages (strong narrative, incentives, clear structures, etc.), we try to be "anti-award" and allocate our attention to the many participants rather than the few winners. The highest priority of SIA is the educational program and the entrepreneurial experience of participants. While some get support and money in the end (and may become an inspiration for next years’ participants) and others don't, everyone has access to the full curriculum and offerings of SIA and gets the chance to experience social entrepreneurship for themselves.

Accessible to everyone

We try to reduce all the barriers that keep from participating: lack of information, disciplinary and languages barriers, geographic constraints, prejudice, and many others. We pursue a low-barrier approach by running workshops in different parts of Uganda, from Kampala to remote refugee settlements.

Transparency and feedback culture

Feedback is the lifeblood of learning. Therefore we put an emphasis on one-on-one feedback in our workshops (e.g. Meet the Jury), in conversations with participants and when screening the project submissions.
Every project submission receives feedback tailored to his/her project helping them to move forward.


We judge our own actions on the same principles as we judge our youth’ submissions:

  1. Innovation: are we reaching those youths who have otherwise limited or no access to quality social entrepreneurship education?
  2. Impact: Are we creating impact in scope and scale for them and their ventures?
  3. Feasibility: Are we acquiring the financial, intellectual and social resources necessary to run SIA in a sustainable manner?

Entrepreneurial in actions

We’re all in it together. We set the first example to the students we reach. We apply the learning we try to promote. We constantly strive to create more value for the students and our supporters and partners.

The Jury

We are currently selecting the Jury 2019. In 2018 the Jury was composed of:

Benard Mujuni
Commisioner, Equity and Rights, Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development

Byagaba Roland
Ugandan ICT professional, writer and entrepreneur with over 7 years’ experience. Currently, he's focusing his energies on his two companies; Muwado, a budding social network focused on Africa, where he blogs from, and BadidiTech, an IT company whose goal is making sure its clients have a professional online presence and which he is in the process of turning into a reliable tech blog. He is also attached to the Centre for African Cultural Excellence as the Project Director for Writivism, which is an initiative to promote African literature and writers, and the Uganda Blogging Community where he is the Coordinator. He is also a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and the Vice President of its Kampala Hub.

Sarah Brown
co-founder of MIGHTY ALLY, a social impact agency arming underserved changemakers with an alliance of world-class strategists, marketers, creative problem solvers, and responsible brands. Sarah is based in Kampala and a seeker, communicator, and demand generator, bent on impacting the greater good by leveraging the skills and resources at hand.  

Joshua Musasizi
co-founder of The Icon Group, which is an assemblage of The Icon Magazine, The Icon Entrepreneurs Forum and The Icon Farm Technology. The Icon Group offers both experiential learning and inspiration to young people and startups across East Africa. Joshua works with young people in the field of digital innovation and creativity where he helps them nurture startups right from the idea stage through prototyping and scaling up. Joshua is also the Country Director of Matendo International and an Ashoka Changemaker.

Noeline Kirabo
family therapist by training and a social entrepreneur by design. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Kyusa, a nonprofit that addresses youth unemployment in Uganda’s slums by empowering student dropouts to turn their passions into sustainable careers. Noeline is also the Director of the New Generation Mentoring Program, an intensive mentoring program for young women that aims to develop outstanding female leaders. She is an author, motivational speaker, life and career coach and business development consultant. Her mission is to empower people to identify their purpose and turn their passions into skills for fruitful living.

Linus Wamanya
Linus is a liberal and open innovation advocate, a futurist with over ten years’ experience in innovation management and creativity with a focus on technology and social change. He is part of the Vision Group, one of Uganda’s leading multimedia conglomerates and the co-founder of ICT/TECH Innovators Coop Savings and Credit Society, a continental network that aims to develop and drive innovation in Africa with focus on digital peer to peer micro lending.

Gerlad Otim
Co-founder and COO of the international award winning social enterprise ensibuuko, helping savings and loans coops go paper-less and become more efficient using a cloud-based and mobile money enabled Microfinance Software platform.

Ambrose Kibuuka
Innovation Strategist at Kampala International University (KIU)
C.E.O. at Human Capital Development Consult (HCDC)

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Mpigi District
Head of the civil service of Mpigi District, Uganda



Additional Application Screening Team Members:




Geoffrey Omoding
Social Impact Award Uganda Country Coordinator, Mentor, Social Entrepreneur and Social Innovation Academy (SINA) Facilitator

Etienne Salborn
Social Innovation Academy (SINA) Founder, Social Entrepreneur and Changemaker-maker


Check out our 2018 Finalists

We received 72 applications in 2018 and the Jury selected the 8 Finalists, which are:

Bahati Designs -high quality designer shirts by refugees

e-Fundi - an online application connecting car owners to professional mechanical services

e-Maktaba (COMMUNITY VOTE WINNER)- educational materials for visually impaired students

HDA APP -mobile App to provide verification of drugs and health facilities

Pearl Farm (WINNER) - allowing citizens of cities invest into farming and enabling wealth to flow back into rural Uganda

RideUp (WINNER) - provides fast and easy way to deliver packages on bicycles by street kids

The Awareness and Wellness Project - promoting child mental health and well-being

Totya Women (RUNNER UP) - supporting all women who were victims of sexual violence in their childhood or as youths via free and anonymous online platform

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