Closed: Call for Solutions – Uganda

Deadline – 31 January 2022

CFYE wants to co-invest in innovative private sector-led initiatives that provide businesses with access to suitably skilled personnel and realize employment for youth in either 1) Last mile solutions or 2) Circular economy models. Projects should result in decent employment for 500 to 1000 young people (aged 15 to 35), especially young women. Any Uganda specific questions can be sent to

The Challenge

Uganda’s job creation challenge is in many ways typical of the Sub-Saharan African region. It has one of the youngest populations in the world and the working-age population is projected to double by 2040. With nearly 1 million entrants to the labor market each year, it is clear that there are not enough decent opportunities being created for Ugandan youth. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic compounded the vulnerability of youth and women, 90% of whom work in the informal sector.

The CFYE Youth Action Research found that a significant proportion of the youth aspire to be employed within IT, communication, leadership, agriculture, healthcare, and advocacy roles. Most youth feel that the education they have received hasn’t equipped them adequately for the job market. Employers also report the need for extensive training and a lack of soft and employability skills.

Action is needed to both stimulate economic growth and tackle the skills mismatch in the labour market, so that young people are not left out. The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment will focus on co-funding initiatives with a short to medium term impact, which consider the structural barriers and test innovative approaches that carry spill over effects on the systemic/macro-economic level.

Call for Solutions

Based on the scoping study conducted in 2019, lessons from the first call and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and employment, the second call for solutions will be more targeted with the key focus areas of creating jobs through agribusiness and value addition, creation of or matching to digital jobs and leveraging circular economy models for job creation.

CFYE wants to co-invest in innovative private sector-led initiatives that enable businesses to create or improve the employment of youth. All projects should result in decent employment for at least 500 young people (aged 15 to 35), especially young women.

CFYE is looking for solutions structured around two non-exclusive windows, explained below.

CFYE will work through private sector firms in high potential sectors, implementing sustainable solutions for the creation of jobs for women and youth, and embedding decency of work, aspirations of the youth, empowerment of women, sensitivity to gender and other inclusion requirements and compliance with the labor laws of Uganda.

  • Opening: Our Uganda Call for Solutions opened on 10 December 2021.
  • Webinar: We hosted an informational webinar to formally launch the call for solutions on  14 December 2021, you can watch the recording below.
  • Deadline: The deadline for submission of Concept Notes is 31 January 2022.

There will be another information webinar on 13 January 2022 to provide additional explanations on the specifics of the application process.


Innovative approaches to deliver last-mile solutions

Window 1: Digital last mile solutions that use innovative approaches to deliver last-mile solutions (products or services) to customers. These solutions can cut across sectors (e-commerce, agribusiness, transport, logistics, healthcare, education, tourism, etc.) and are based on adoption of technology as a delivery mechanism. Solutions that have significant touch points for job creation and deliver a balance between urban and rural jobs are encouraged.

Under this window, applicants will be required to demonstrate potential to create, improve or match at least 1,000 jobs.

Contributions to a circular economy

Window 2: Circular economy models that use innovative approaches and/or new technologies to contribute to a circular economy, implement green approaches, regenerative, organic waste-to-value models and demonstrate potential to mainstream youth aspirations.

Under this window, applicants will be required to demonstrate potential to create, improve or match at least 500 jobs.

The above windows are non-exclusive. CFYE still invites applications with significant job creation potential.

Eligibility Criteria

The following general criteria for eligible proposals apply:

  • Principles: Should be able to adhere to CFYE’s guiding principles & priorities.
  • Exclusion Criteria: the project and organizations involved in delivering the project must pass the FMO exclusion criteria.
  • Local Presence: You (the lead organization), or at least one of your consortium partners, has a local operating presence in the country.
  • Legality: The Lead Organisation is a legally registered private sector entity or NGO. ​
  • Total Targets: The proposed project will create, match, improve or sustain at least 500 jobs for young men and women.
  • Women Targets: Of the total youth employment created, matched, or improved, at least 50% are for women, Note however that the higher this percentage is, the more competitive your Concept Note will be.
  • Decency of Jobs: For any job created, matched, or improved, the average monthly income should be representative of the local cost of living, depending on location, has no more than 48 hours/week of work, and jobs are maintained for at least six months.
  • Private Sector: Only private companies can be lead applicants, but they may partner with other organisations such as NGOs or government institutions.
  • Leverage & CFYE Contribution: The minimum contribution of the fund is € 200,000. This should be matched by a co-investment that is at least equal to the contribution requested. Sources of co-funding have to be approved based on the guidance provided​.
  • Youth: The jobs created, matched or improved would be for youth aged 18-35 years. Unless the minimum working age is otherwise stipulated by local labour laws.
  • Employment type: Initiatives in both the informal and formal sectors are eligible. However, they should focus on wage employment or semi-employment (working with agents or other semi- self-employed positions as part of a company’s business model).


  • The contribution requested from CFYE is expected to be within a reasonable range, in comparison with the lead organisation’s average annual turnover in previous years, or the income of the current year in case of a newly-established organisation. If the amount requested is significantly larger, CFYE requires an explanation as to how the organisation/project intends to manage the funds and match it with their own contribution. Guidance around the proof of managing finances is provided in the Business Case guidance.
  • Applicant organisation can begin project implementation no later than July 2022.

Want to apply?

Download the application brochure below.

Relevant Documentation

Want to know what to expect in our application process? Please have a look at the below documents.

Competitive Process

The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment will apply a competitive process to select the projects that will receive a grant. That means that only those projects that present a clear and convincing pathway to employment, lead to significant and sustainable results in terms of decent employment for youth, with a focus on young women, and can demonstrate high leverage will be selected.

Webinar Recording

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