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VELA Project

VELA stands for Village Entrepreneurship Learning Associations. It is a Deep System Thinking Approach (DSTA) of business-to-community transformation model designed and developed by UNEDI in 2011 and first piloted in Lwengo district in 2013 with sponsorship from: Village Power Ltd, Crane Bank, Stanbic Bank, and Finance Trust Bank. It is UNEDI’s village business classroom where village residents learn business culture, adapt to entrepreneurship cultural thought and practice climate smart actions in cooperative form and as investment clubs.


UNEDI-VELA Lwengo Leaders District Retreat August 2013


Commander Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) Gen. (Rtd) Salim Saleh Addressing, UNEDI-VELA- Lwengo District Retreat


UNEDI delivering on the Promise


VELA brings Village Residents into the spontaneity to practice three (3) major spirits;

  • Diligence (creative change)
  • Self-Help (independent responsibility)
  • Cooperation (productive unity)

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UNEDI is offering both skilling programs and professional courses under VELA program, join our practical learning and become an expert in community empowerment programs. Do not miss


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Do not miss UNEDI’s Financial Literacy & Entrepreneurship Extension Training (FLEETTM) Boot Camps 2023

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You do not want to miss on the UNEDI’s VELA Investment Clubs Development & Management Training Program


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His Excellency Park, Jong-dae, South Korea Ambassador to Uganda in picture below speaking to 465 VELA leaders during the Lwengo District Economic Summit in 2014. He applauded the VELA model approach and likened it to South Korea the Saemaul Undong, also known as the New Community Movemen (SMU). The Korea Embassy in Kampala sponsored UNEDI team composed of Mr. Niiwo and Mr. Kato Philip to go and study SMU Model in Korea to draw lessons and infuse them in the VELA model

UNEDI VELA program rural Outreach

His Excellency Park, Jong-dae, former South Korea Ambassador to Uganda together with UNEDI C.EO. Samuel Niiwo graduating UNEDI-VELA Enterprise Corps in 2015 in Kampala.

After its first pilot in Lwengo between 2013 and 2014, the second pilot was launched in 2015 Isingiro District under the AGRISAVE Project a consortium of several private businesses. Among them included Gudie Leisure Farm, DFCU Bank, and other stakeholder. AGRISAVE project was phased out after discovering anomalies in consortia design and delivery. Lessons learnt during this second rollout were also infused in the model including the South Korea SMU model project delivery approach.

VELA enables the unbanked become bankable, awakens the sleeping giant in an individual and motivates beneficiaries to rise to the challenge and the programme their mind for success. The model reduces the cost of doing business and enables rapid market access for both big corporations like financial institutions and manufacturers and their agents while providing rural communities and peri-urban active poor easy access to goods and services on a cost-effective, customized to suit the local economy, language, and customs. The model enhances rapid transformation of rural communities and spurs business growth, it improves livelihood systems, creating massive Jobs and does advance shared and inclusive prosperity.

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VELA applies social entrepreneurship as a means in advancing rural communities and the peri urban poor’s Quality of life; Tolerance and Peace and thus promote civic existence, expression & engagement. This is a achieved by carrying out a village to village mobilisation, sensitization and high impact rural entrepreneurship training outreach programs to develop “a Spirit of Diligence, Self-help and Cooperation” as a cultural thought among villagers to help them gain:-

  • Mindset Reformation
  • Financial inclusion
  • Increased incomes
  • Modernized life (Shelter, Health, Education)
  • Environmental improvement

UNEDI’s view point is that it is no use how hard government and development partners try to help if the receipt of development do not stand up and participate with passion for transformation, taking the front line position. Many rural communities lack voluntary desire and spirit of cooperation and on the other hand some leaders and public servants lack sense of duty

VELA activities are carried out basing on three basic principles:

  • Ideology- living well = living well together
  • Development Process Engineering- A bottom –up movement
  • Goal Change of Age – Modernization = advancement

UNEDI-VELA enable business to reach communities easily and communities get to access affordable, accessible and acceptable products and services. This reduces the cost of doing business and investment

UNEDI VELA Solar distribution
H.E. President Y.K. Museveni switched on Solar lights while launching the distribution of 3000 solar kits to Lwengo District VELA Members. This was made possible by UNEDI-VELA collaborative partnership with Finance Trust Bank, Lwengo Local Authorities, and Village Power Solar Company with subside from Rural Electrification Agency

Projects implemented by VELA

Mind Reformation project

This project aims to help villagers in spiritual reformation from public/donor handouts dependency to Diligence, Self-help and Cooperation through public-private partnerships mindset towards:-

Financial inclusion project

This project is aimed facilitating the provision of accessible, affordable and acceptable financial services to villagers by making each member of the village bankable and able practice savings, get access financial services that will help them;

Modernization of life project

This project is aimed at improving the quality of life. VELA is a movement for spiritual and business culture to actualise a mature citizenship and civic existence by solving the problem of awareness of order, moral hazard, and lack of responsibility by presenting an image of sound citizen and enhance democratic citizenship. Under this project VELAs focuses on improving and strengthening settlement structure of society in village by enabling resident construct modern housing estates through group work with access to water, energy resources. This works hand in hand with the development effective democratic principles. Joint work activities are focused on;

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UNEDI VELA Solar distribution

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