Equity Bank Uganda over the weekend commissioned its third cohort of Equity Leaders Program (ELP) scholars, welcoming 110 top-performing students from districts where the Bank operates.

The ELP, a mentorship and leadership development initiative, amplifies Equity Bank Uganda’s social impact by expanding existing programs through the Bank’s social impact engine.

Chosen based on their 2023 Senior Six Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) results, the scholars completed a week-long induction and are set to begin a 3-6 month paid internship at Equity Bank. During this period, each scholar will receive a monthly stipend and gain invaluable on-the-job training and mentorship across various departments.

Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, Sam Bwaya, a board member of the Equity Group Foundation Uganda, expressed excitement, saying, “It’s truly inspiring to see the growth of the Equity Leaders Program. From launching with 123 scholars in January 2022, we now commission 110, bringing our total to over 300 scholars.”

“What began as a modest mentorship program has significantly contributed to our successes. Equity Bank remains committed to transforming lives by empowering outstanding students from every district to realise their potential.”

Equity Bank Managing Director Anthony Kituuka emphasized the Bank’s dedication to human capital development through the Equity Leaders Program. “We’ve mentored over 300 scholars in just three years, providing them with paid internships, coaching, and mentorship. Our goal is to support their transition to leading local and global universities and prepare them for the professional world.”

Kituuka highlighted the benefits of the internship program, stating, “These scholars gain early exposure to the corporate world, learning essential life skills such as personal branding, financial management, and navigating corporate dynamics. The stipend they receive not only enhances their economic well-being but also uplifts their communities. This is the essence of ELP’s impact.”

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Since its expansion to Uganda in 2021 from Kenya, the program has sent five scholars from Uganda to prestigious global universities and over 700 scholars from other Equity Group subsidiaries to prestigious universities such as MIT, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton among others.

Operational in four of Equity Group’s six subsidiaries, including Kenya, Rwanda, and DRC, ELP serves as a regional initiative fostering East African integration. By facilitating the exchange of ideas and resources, building a network of young professionals, and cultivating an alumni community of innovative thinkers, the Equity Leaders Program aims to address the region’s socio-economic challenges.

The Equity Leaders Program was founded in 1998 and has scaled up over time to benefit over 17,000 scholars across the region. The paid internship component of the Equity Leaders Program admits the top performing boy and girl in the secondary level final exams from each District in Uganda where Equity Bank has a branch.

The program aims at empowering young academically gifted scholars by supporting their access to education in public universities in Uganda and around the globe, as well as equipping them with leadership skills.

The paid internship runs for 3-6 months between secondary school completion and the beginning of university. In Uganda over 300 scholars have benefitted from internships at Equity Bank prior to joining local or global universities. Of these, five scholars have secured admissions and scholarships in top global universities.

The leadership development model seeks to develop scholars in four program areas:

Personal and Professional Development to enable scholars to identify their unique talents and strengths and to match their individual interests with meaningful career opportunities.

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Global exposure to encourage scholars to expand their horizons and become world class-leaders who can compete and succeed in a global marketplace.

Creativity and Innovation to empower scholars to think creatively about providing solutions to the challenges and opportunities facing communities around the world.

Community Engagement inspires scholars to use their abilities for good and to make a positive impact on society.

While developing individual scholars in these thematic areas, the program also endeavours to create a strong network of scholars working together across disciplines and sectors to transform their communities, their country, and the world at large. This leadership development model is delivered through the following initiatives:

The Internship Program which allows scholars at local universities to return for internships with Equity Group and its partners during university holidays to get professional experience while saving for their university education. The program runs for the 3-6 months between secondary school completion and the beginning of university.

The Global Summer Internship Program which allows scholars studying at international universities to return to Africa for their summer holidays and intern with Equity Group and its partners, giving them work experience and building their professional networks on the continent.

The College Counselling Program which supports Equity scholars to access admission and scholarships to some of the world’s leading universities, including the Ivy League universities in the US.

The University Chapters at campuses in Uganda and abroad serve as platforms for interaction, networking, and activities for the scholars during their university sessions.

The post Equity Bank Uganda welcomes 110 top-performing scholars into the third cohort of its Equity Leaders Program appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.

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