How Project Inspire Africa Inspires Would-Be Entrepreneurs

Nelson Tugume and Apollo Munanura

The ongoing ‘Project Inspire Africa,’ a reality TV show focusing on entrepreneurship, will soon crown the winning contestant who will receive US$ 50,000 as start-up capital to setup his business.

According to Nelson Tugume, the CEO of Inspire Africa, the show aims to identify and promote young entrepreneurs with great business ideas. The program, which is in its first season, hosted 24 contestants from Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.

Tugume added that the project is a human capital development initiative designed to improve the living conditions of youth in East Africa. The business challenges in forms of games have been principally developed to help improve the African way of doing businesses. “We are working with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Private Sector Federation (PSF) to organize the grand finale which will take place in Kigali on the April 1. The program has been on the air over the past eight weeks and we are appreciating the viewership,” Tugume said.

There is also appreciation from Apollo Munanura, the acting head of human capital and institutional development in RDB, who lauded the initative.

“We were immediately interested, since they talked about improving the spirit of entrepreneurship, and we gave them advice on how to raise awareness for the initiative. And since they reach around a million people watching how contestants imagine and create business ideas, that means a lot for us,” Munanura said.

He said that RDB also helped the project in selecting candidates, adding that the recruitment process valued passion, attitudes, innovation and creativity in doing businesses.

And for those candidates who made it to then end, the rewards will be big. Apart from the overall winner who will receive US$ 50,000 to realize his business idea, Tugume explained that the runners-up will be rewarded as well, and that contestants will be mentored by successful entrepreneurs in their countries to make their businesses flourish.

He added that considering the success of the first season, a second edition of the show is sure to follow. “The second season will be more colorful, and even more interesting for both the viewers and the contestants,” he said.

Tugumire also thinks that Inspire Africa is not just about individual entrepreneurship, but also African prosperity. “We believe the more local enterprises we help to build and the more we empower communities financially, we will ensure jobs and social security for the citizens,” the CEO explained. “This will translate into an African population that is deeply patriotic and driven towards sustainable development.”