The TreeCapital tree-planting programme is turning young Ugandan adults into entrepreneurs and environmental activists.
Tree Adoption Uganda (TAU) is a multi-tiered social enterprise that encourages rural youth entrepreneurship while simultaneously addressing climate change. Motivated by his own experience growing up in one of Uganda’s most impoverished slums, TAU founder Charles Batte felt a sense of social responsibility to empower the youth of slum communities by helping them grow their own tree nurseries, in order to generate income to start their own businesses.
This TAU project is called the TreeCapital programme, and it follows a relatively simple but effective business model. An enterprising youth, who wants to start a business, is taught how to set up and maintain a tree nursery at home. TAU encourages corporate companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint or find a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project, to adopt the trees. The money made from these transactions goes to the youth as capital to start their own small businesses.
After the trees are adopted, TAU helps the young entrepreneurs maintain and grow their businesses by providing three years of continued mentorship and basic business training. Every time a new enterprise is established, the local economy gets stronger, and more jobs are created for other members of the community.