Coop360 Innovations Awards

Coop360°Innovations Award Series: Why you should participate

In the vibrant landscape of Uganda’s cooperative sector, innovation and competitiveness are becoming essential drivers of good business performance and impactful sustainable development. The Uhuru Institute for Social Development (TUI) has been working on an initiative to showcase and celebrate this. Together with our partners, the Bank of Uganda, NTV Uganda, Liberty Life Assurance, and Goldstone Consulting, the Coop360° Innovations Awards series came to life.

The Coop360° Innovations Award Series is here to recognise, amplify, and reward the ingenuity of cooperatives that have harnessed these principles to enhance membership value, fortify their businesses, and uplift their communities. If you’re a forward-thinking cooperative looking to transform your future, this is why you should participate:

  1. Recognition and credibility: 

Winning or even being nominated for an innovation award can significantly enhance your cooperative’s credibility and reputation. It serves as external validation of your innovative ideas and solutions, which can help attract more members, customers, and valuable partners for your cooperative’s businesses.

  1. Increased visibility: 

Awards often come with media coverage and increased exposure. We are partnering with one of the leading media houses in Uganda, NTV Uganda, to make sure that the series is covered, starting from regional selection to the national finale. This will introduce your innovation to a broader audience, potentially leading to greater market visibility and new opportunities.

  1. Reward innovation and competitiveness: 

We believe that innovation and competitiveness are the cornerstones of cooperative-powered sustainable development. By recognising and rewarding those cooperatives that have demonstrated exceptional prowess in these areas, we aim to inspire others to follow suit.

  1. Motivation and morale: 

Being recognised with an innovation award can boost the morale of your members and motivate them to continue to innovate for the better. It provides a sense of accomplishment and can encourage employees to pursue further creative endeavours.

  1. Networking opportunities:

Participation in the Coop360° Innovation Awards will provide you with the opportunity for valuable networking opportunities. You’ll meet other innovators, other cooperatives, potential collaborators, investors, and industry experts at award ceremonies and related events, which can be beneficial for your cooperative and its members.

  1. Access to resources: 

This award series offers not only recognition but also financial rewards, or access to resources such as computers, printers, and routers, that will help your cooperative further develop and scale its innovations. These resources range from cash to computers, printers, and routers.

  1. Evaluations and feedback: 

The application process will involve rigorous evaluation, which in turn will provide valuable feedback on your innovation. This feedback will help the cooperative members refine the product or service, making it more competitive in the market.

  1. Business to Business linkages: 

The Coop360° Innovations Award Series offers a platform for cooperatives to build vital Business to Business (B2B) linkages. This will not only facilitate collaboration among cooperatives but also foster partnerships with TUI, other institutions, and the broader business community.

  1. Promoting cooperative identity: 

Last but not least, the most important part of why we are starting this award series is to cultivate and nurture the appreciation and application of the cooperative identity in all cooperative initiatives. At TUI, we believe that by reinforcing these values, ethics, and principles, we can create a more inclusive and prosperous future for all.

The Coop360° Innovations Award Series is open to all cooperatives in Uganda that meet the prescribed participation criteria. To learn more, please click on this link:

The Coop3600 Network and the continued training of Cooperatives on the Network

The Network, as we like to fondly call it, is a platform that was developed by the Uhuru Institute for Social Development Ltd (TUI). The Coop360 Network was established with the intention of cultivating a breed of cooperatives that have a cooperative identity. Value-based cooperatives are ones that operate in accordance with the seven fundamental principles of cooperatives (voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, member economic participation, autonomy and independence, education, training, and information, cooperation among cooperatives, concern for the community), offering benefits to their members and having an effect on the communities that make it possible for their enterprises to prosper.

The network team, under the direction of Relationship Manager Mary Anyango, continued some of the training that TUI typically offers to its cooperative partners through the institute’s Skill Coop arm following the successful launch of the Coop360 Innovations Award series. The training took place in Gulu and Lira during the last week of September.

The first part of the week was spent in Lira with the Atiak Sugar Outgrowers Cooperative Limited, which was made up of teams from the nearby districts of Kitgum and Lamwo as well as those from Gulu. After that, the team spent the rest of the week in Lira with the Lira Diocese Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited. These training sessions served as a reminder of  TUI’s purpose and dedication to fostering an environment in which Ugandans can work together to build wealth through their cooperatives.

At the conclusion of the training, several of the members of the cooperatives expressed feeling motivated and reiterating the need to collaborate, develop within their enterprises, and also be diligent in the process of rebuilding vibrant communities in their immediate surroundings.

Daniel Oloya taking a seflie with a fish pond in the background

#NoExcuses alumni, where are they now?

The Inspiring Journey of Daniel Oloya 

The Uhuru Institute for Social Development (TUI) recognises the overall impact of the context above on the youth, appreciates that youth is a transition period from childhood (dependence) to adulthood (independence), accommodating perceptions and definitions to the specific context and situation. It is a particular period in life where lifestyle choices and opportunities can have a long-lasting impact on a person’s future. Consequently, we believe that while youth require support to enable their takeoff, the decision that one takes in their youth should build the future –hence of #NoExcuses programme.  

Between 2014-2017 implemented 8 #NoExcuses Youth Leadership and Opportunity Camps with amazing results and outcomes. Without any further support from TUI, the alumni of these youth camps like Daniel Oloya have made tremendous progress in their life including, that many attribute to their learning during the #NoExcuses camps, and many now entrepreneurs, local councillors, members of parliament, and cooperatives leaders etc.     

Daniel's Rice Farm

Daniel showing the harvest from his rice farm

Daniel Oloya was born on April 11, 1984, and hails from the village of Awalmon Central in the Ogole Parish of Bongtiko Sub County, Pader District. He has come a long way since his participation in the #NoExcuses programme, he took time to speak to us about where he is now and what the programme meant to him as a young entrepreneur.

His journey began with a diploma in Civil Engineering, which laid the foundation for his career. He is a self-employed farmer, demonstrating his entrepreneurial spirit through his business, KONYA KONYI AGRO ENTERPRISE PADER, Konya Konyi: means help me help you in Luo. So far, the business has handled two key areas: fish farming and commercial beekeeping. The business has been thriving in both sectors, producing raw honey, processed honey, bee wax, candles, honey wine, and bee venom extraction. 

Fish Farming

Daniel’s fish farming venture is made up of three ponds with a total stocking capacity of 24,000 fish. The ponds, measuring 30 x 20 m, have been a successful source of fish production. He plans to construct a hatchery that will increase the supply of fingerlings and provide preservation structures to minimise waste. He hopes that this will attract more youth into agri-business which will fulfil Daniel’s plans for transforming the community for development.


With 157 hives yielding a minimum of 1200 kg per harvest, Daniel’s beekeeping enterprise has seen impressive growth over the years. To overcome the challenges of beekeeping, he introduced innovative measures, including providing cassava flour to bees as a supplement, creating water points near the bee yard, and offering honey solutions. These strategies have significantly increased honey production.

Beehives at the farm courtesy of Daniel Oloya

Skills Development and Impact

Daniel says that his participation in the #NoExcuses  programme brought about significant personal and professional growth. Some of the key skills he developed during the programme and how he applied them are:

  1. Networking: 

Daniel has been able to leverage his networking skills to attract development partners, such as Food for the Hungry International and Caritas Uganda, which support his youth-focused fish farming training.

  1. Collaboration and Teamwork: 

After the #NoExcuses programme, Daniel initiated a youth alliance group engaged in commercial rice production, receiving support from the United States African Development Fund (USADF). Through the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI) Gulu Office, the group has achieved impressive results, producing 27 tonnes of rice in 2022 and expanding to 42 acres in 2023. Daniel is the group spoke/contact person (coordinator, Pader District). 

  1. Personal Growth: 

Daniel’s business has grown significantly, with his beekeeping operation expanding from 83 hives in 2021 to 157 hives. His market base has also expanded, and he says this was due to learning how to network with different people while in the programme.

  1. Community Impact: 

Daniel has transformed his fish farm into a learning centre for youth and active fish farmers in the district and beyond. This initiative aims to attract more young people to agri-business and contribute to community development.


Recommendation for Youth

Daniel Oloya strongly recommends young people join the #NoExcuses programme for several compelling reasons:

  • Broadened Vision: The programme opens up new perspectives and opportunities for youth, serving as an eye-opener.
  •  Networking Opportunities: Participants get to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds, enabling them to identify various business opportunities in agriculture and other ventures.
  • Advocacy for Youth: The programme provides a platform to discuss youth-friendly issues and present them to the government for national consideration.
  • Path to Prosperity: #NoExcuses is a gateway from poverty to prosperity, equipping young people with the skills and mindset for success.
  • Inclusivity: The programme promotes inclusivity by fostering discussions on personal and national growth without discrimination based on political affiliations, religion, or ethnicity.
Daniel Oloya taking a seflie with a fish pond in the background

Daniel Oloya courtesy of Daniel Oloya

Daniel Oloya’s journey is not only inspiring but seeing his growth to a successful agri-entrepreneur and advocate for youth empowerment is a testament to the transformative power of programmes like #NoExcuses. His story serves as an inspiration to young people seeking to make a difference in their communities and beyond.

Fostering Sustainability And Strengthening The Governance Framework Of PDM Coops

This presentation answers these questions.

  1. Is Africa and or Uganda really poor?
  2. What are the political economic issues that have influenced the development of cooperatives in Uganda?
  3. What is motivating the Government of Uganda to invest in cooperatives?
  4. What must we do to deliver sustainable PDM Cooperatives?

Please click on the link below to read more: Political Economy of Cooperatives MFPED AUGUST 2023

Coop360 Network, Empowering Cooperative Leaders

In a world where cooperatives are always vying for consumers’ attention, distinctive branding is crucial for success. This is only one of the numerous factors that prompted the development of the Branding Accelerator program. This two-day training, which took place from July 11th to 14th, 2023, was intended to provide members of the Coop 360 Network with the tools they need to create strong brands for their cooperatives. 

Seven Coop360 Network cooperatives came all the way to Kyoto in Namugongo to train with the Uhuru team and the Goldstone team after two months of intensive weekly training. 

Beginning in May, the program guided the attendees through the basics of brand building, brand personality, and logo design. Participants received information they could immediately put to use in their cooperative enterprises by expanding their understanding of the branding process. 

The cooperative leaders taking part of an exercise

Over the course of the two days, the leaders participated in lectures, group discussions, and brainstorming activities designed to refine their skills in logo design and brand building through hands-on exercises. The training was successful in showing the cooperative leaders how to bridge the gap between theory and practise by focusing on basic principles and actual applications.

Many of the leaders remarked about how they didn’t understand how important the training was, but due to the two days spent with the TUI and Goldstone teams, they now understood the value of brand recognition. 

“I want to confess that this is good, I didn’t expect it to be this easy and interesting because it appeared to be complicated but thank you Uhuru and 

Goldstone for this, I am definitely going to push this with our cooperative.” – Peterson Kazaire from Nyakibaale SACCO 

Peterson Kazaire, Nyakibaale SACCO

The training was a watershed moment for the participating cooperatives. Leaders gained the insight and expertise necessary to modernise their brands, setting their businesses up for increased success and widespread recognition. Cooperatives are poised to make a lasting impact on their communities and contribute considerably to inclusive socioeconomic transformation as they go forward with revitalised branding strategies. 

As we continue with the program, it is clear that cooperative branding’s full potential has been unlocked, and these leaders are ready for more growth in their cooperatives. 

The cooperative leaders, together with the Uhuru Institute teams and the Goldstone team



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