Growing Youth Businesses, 2021 Leadership Summit Highlights

Feb 3, 2022

At the 2021 Leadership and Entrepreneurship Incubator Summit – ‘Growing Youth Businesses to the Next Level’ we were able for the first time to host students in the third phase of the LEI curriculum, allowing them to apply the knowledge and skills from phases one and two.

The three phases to the LEI curriculum are:

Phase 1 – School based Clubs (SBC), year 1 implementation of the LEI curriculum 

Phase 2 – Regional Summit training (In country summit), year 2 implementation of the LEI Curriculum

Phase 3 – Cross-border Summit/Advanced summit training, year 3 implementation of the LEI Curriculum 

The five-day summit took place at Uhuru Hostel – Moshi in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, from 29th November to 4th December, with 65 participants attending from nine Tanzanian regions. 

In addition to the in-person summit held at the hostel, LEI alumni in Uganda and Kenya, thirty-eight in all,  participated virtually. The virtual meeting connected the three countries together and alumni were able to learn from each other’s different business ideas, share what they acquired during the week, and strategize how they will apply what they learned to improve the quality of their businesses. 

The summit had five objectives:  

      • To accelerate the growth of youth businesses 
      • To build capacity of student entrepreneurial skills across business plans by focusing on innovation and marketing, and by using the Business Model Canvas (BMC) 
      • To provide hands-on mentorship
      • To enhance accessing seed funding via a compelling “pitch”
      • To support youths who turned business ideas into business start-ups during the pandemic

Summit Activity Highlights

Business Showcase: 25 youths were able to showcase the local income-generating activities (IGAs) that enable them to support themselves and their families. The business showcase included start-ups in electronics repair, such as laptops and cellphones; web designers; photographers and videographers; clothing design and tailoring; stationary supplies; animal husbandry; agriculture; and more. Their enterprises are the result of knowledge-turned-into-practice learned during phase one of the LEI curriculum. 

The showcase was also observed by our partners Social Capital Foundation. They were able to listen to the stories behind the IGAs and the young entrepreneurs’ future plans.

“I am so proud of being able to see energetic youth trying out various ways of generating their own income. Their being here at this summit for the advanced training has made me believe that they can become sustainable. I wish them all the best.”


Maria – Social Capital Foundation

Workshops On Knowledge Acquisition And Other Entrepreneurial Topics: The summit topics focused on Youths Economic Empowerment through advanced entrepreneurship training. Topics included business planning through the Business Model Canvas, innovation and ideation, business budgeting, digital marketing, business registration, and making business presentations. These sessions aim to add value to what the students had already accomplished and to help them grow their business.

“Starting a business is the first step and sustaining the business is the second. You must develop unions with various stakeholders and involve those who support you with financing, skills, and practical knowledge.”


Paul  – Facilitating Business Canvas Model
Gabriel from Obuntu Facilitating Digital Marketing
Hashim from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) facilitating Business Registration and License
Paul Facilitating Business Model Canvas (BMC)

Business Proposal Writing Presentations: Alumni completed a workshop in proposal writing that will enable them to draft proposals and request resources for growing their businesses. The workshop was both theoretical and practical. Students learned how to organize their ideas on paper and then presented those ideas to the workshop facilitator. Students were encouraged to try their hand at an actual proposal for seed funding over the January break.

“Comparing your expenses and income will guide your success budgeting and saving across your lifetime.”


Zelothe – Facilitating Budget and Savings

Mock Pitching: Everyone knows “practice makes perfect,” so the youths learned how to prepare and present their business proposals to investors and then went through a series of “mock pitches” where they attempted to sell their ideas to a panel of judges, who then assisted students with advice how to shape their pitches for the final showcase in February.

The panel consisted of four judges, two of whom were representatives of our partner, Somo Africa. 

Young entrepreneurs don’t need to have a lot of money to get started; they do need some money, but just as much they need initiative and a willingness to learn.


Youth Participant

Tour Trip: Tanzanian Alumni were able to explore and learn the history behind Arusha National Park. It was an exciting moment, for they came from different regions in Tanzania and some were visiting and exploring the popular tourist destination for the first time.  

Business creativity doesn’t end at conception; for a business to come alive and thrive, creative thinking must be ongoing.


Youth Participant

WRITTEN BY: Jerry Blitefield