Micro and Small Enterprises (SMEs) have been advised to embrace formal and modern management practices if they are to grow into larger, more profitable organisations.
The call was made by the Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda, Dr Louis Kasekende, while presiding at the graduation ceremony for the pioneer class of the Orient Bank Business Academy programme that has been running from August 2016.
The programme, run in partnership with Makerere University Business School (Mubs), has provided financial literacy and business management training to 22 micro and small enterprises to enable them grow their businesses.
“The Ugandan economy is dominated by the micro and small scale business sector which provides employment for more than 90 per cent of the workforce. However, small businesses face several barriers to growth and the majority of these enterprises remain small and fail to expand,” Dr Kasekende said.
“Lack of business management skills is one of the major impediments to their growth and yet it is a critical requirement for success. I, therefore, welcome this initiative by Orient Bank and Mubs and look forward to the enterprises that have been trained expanding and employing more people and paying more taxes,” Mr Kasekende added.
Speaking at the same event, the principal Mubs, Prof Wasswa Balunywa said that small enterprises are critical for the growth and resilience of the Ugandan economy.
“The world over, small businesses are critical to the growth and resilience of the economy. Uganda does have several small businesses but we need to improve their quality so that they can contribute more to innovation and employment.
“Key to this is providing our local entrepreneurs with business management skills. This is something the MUBS-Entrepreneurship Centre has been doing and we are happy to partner with Orient Bank in this initiative,” Mr Balunywa said.
As part of the training, the small businesses were tasked to come up with business growth plans and the best five plans were to win funding of up to Shs30 million depending on their business needs.
Funding packages. 2ambale, an e-commerce business, emerged the best in the Orient Bank Business Academy programme and was awarded Shs20m to grow their business. Elma Foods, who produce yoghurt for the lower segment of the market, emerged second and were awarded Shs10m. Other businesses that were awarded funding to grow their businesses were Happy Bee Honey, Mutundwe Chalk Factory and African Culture Leather Factory
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