One activity within our "empowering people. Network" is a regionally based and hands-on oriented format of training opportunities: the “empowering people. Onsite”. After a pilot in September 2014 in Uganda, our next epOnsite-training took place in Bogotá, Colombia in May 2015. More information will follow here soon  – and on Twitter #epOnsite.

"It brings it to life"

From September 25-27, the first “empowering people. Onsite” took place in Jinja, Uganda. With this pilot, the Siemens Stiftung is aiming to start a series of hands-on oriented workshops providing training opportunities for members of the “empowering people. Network” (epN): "empowering people. Onsite".

The “empowering people. Onsite” wants to resort to the existing “empowering people. Network” to interconnect its members not only virtually, but also personally. This is intended to happen in the respective regions to make it possible to work with local expertise and on-site circumstances.

In Jinja, we invited 16 associates from the organizations of our “empowering people. Network”, all regionally based in Eastern and Southern Africa. Thereby, small and novel start-ups met highly professional and experienced organizations. Together, they were enabled to gain the type of know-how needed to get ahead with their social businesses, all offered in a particularly practical approach.

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First impression from Caroline Okila about the empowering people Onsite Workshop in Jinja, Uganda.

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More Impressions on the "empowering people. Onsite" from Jonathon Rees

The topic of the workshop in Jinja was “Communications”. While a crucial success factor for start-up businesses it is also a cross-cutting subject which is relevant to all participating entrepreneurs as they need to address different target groups.

One focus lied on developing communication strategies with working sessions on target groups and communication messages. Each participant worked on his/her individual pitch presentation for a specific target group and had the opportunity to participate in three skills training sessions on video & photography, interviews & presentations and social media.

Caroline Okila from Ezylife, Kenya, was one of the participants. She stated: “I think the epOnsite-workshop is a really good approach to empowering people. It brings people together that work in the same environment. We shared ideas and empowered each other guided by the facilitators. Listening to different experiences from South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia helped me become better than how I am right now.”

In role-plays, the participants started off presenting their ideas in order to find potential investors. In their intents, they found themselves not only judged by Rolf Huber, managing director of the Siemens Stiftung in the role of a potential environmental investor, but also by other participants, exchanging feedback from different viewpoints.

Jonathon Rees

“epOnsite brings it to life. It gets innovators that are social entrepreneurs together, it gets them to learn from each others’ experiences, it gives them the chance to learn new skills and to go back empowered to build up their enterprises.

The point we made is that everybody can be a good communicator, everybody must be a communicator, and everybody can get better at it. Because communication is what builds up an enterprising business.”

Jonathon Rees is a founding director of Proof Communication Africa, who can look back on 20 years of experience in communication strategies. His focus is on technology and innovation communication.

Ruth Aine Tindyebwa

"A biodegradable toilet, solar energy for rural people, energy saving stoves, garbage collection from homes - there are so many interesting projects here!"

Ruth Aine Tindyebwa is a Ugandan online journalist who has vast experience with blogging and social media. Read more about her perspective on the epOnsite workshop in Jinja.

Ssanyu Kalibbala

Ssanyu showed herself enthusiastic about the amazing projects the participants work in, about the fantastic impact they have on people’s daily life: “You all have wonderful stories on the ground – tell them!” She made it clear that support in improving their efforts would be coming from the facilitators, but also from within the group: “We are family now”

Ssanyu Kalibbala is a media professional with over 15 years experience in the field of television broadcasting. She comes with a strong background in documentary and narrative film production and taught the participants in using video and photography in communication.