Old man awakens 210 Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) have received invaluable business training and graduated from a Business Mentoring Programme supported by Stanbic Bank in partnership with Enterprise Uganda.
The one-year program, which ran between July 2015 to July 2016 was initiated to improve the capacity of small businesses to become more self-sustaining by acquiring specialized skills on how to handle financial and administrative management and identify profitable investment opportunities for future growth.
“SME’s form the backbone of our economy, they constitute the bulk of the private sector, are one of the largest employers and generate a considerable amount of tax revenue. The challenge however, is that the majority of business owners in these companies have never been formally trained to run their companies professionally, as a result many struggle over time and collapse after just a few years,” said Kevin Wingfield Head of Personal and Business Banking at Stanbic Bank.
According to the 2015 Global Entrepreneurs Monitor (GEM) report, Uganda had the best entrepreneurship growth rate at 28%.
However, the country faces a big challenge of sustaining these businesses, as more than half of the businesses started don’t live to celebrate their first anniversary. Though limited access to finance has been blamed for the high SME failure rates in Uganda, poor financial management, lack of proper bookkeeping and guidance on how to run a business properly have also been identified as a key contributor to the rampant collapses.
“Our objective as Stanbic Bank working through Enterprise Uganda is to help bridge the skills gap in the SME sector, by equipping the business proprietors with basic business leadership, administrative and people-management skills they need to enable them run sustainable and profitable long term enterprises,” Mr. Wingfield explained.
“Initiatives such are these are integral to ensuring the long-term success of SME’s. By supporting and up-skilling SME’s we are directly contributing to growing the economy of the country,” said Charles Ocici, Executive Director of Enterprise Uganda, who facilitated the training workshops by co-ordinating the various skills programmes and providing sector experts for the training modules.