Stanbic Bank on Friday 23rd, November awarded graduation certificates to 420 entrepreneurs from 119 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through its business incubator.

This is the second cohort to graduate since the incubator was launched earlier this year. The first cohort saw 94 entrepreneurs from 34 businesses graduate. Therefore making a 2018 total of 153 SMEs and 514 entrepreneurs.

“119 SMEs have graduated compared to 34 in May this year. This is a clear indication that we’re moving in the right direction towards impacting on business sustainability and ultimately job creation,” Stanbic Bank Uganda Head of Enterprise Development Tony Otoa said.

The graduating cohort is involved in a wide range of businesses including catering and catering support services, security, medical services, facilities management including cleaning services, equipment logistics, entertainment, events management, recreation, travel & tour operations, among others.

Tony pointed out that the program is purposed to equip Ugandan SMEs with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding of the requisite standards required run their businesses in a sustainable and profitable manner.

The bank’s CEO Patrick Mweheire noted that SMEs are key engines of economic growth in Uganda employing approximately 2.5 million people, contributing 20% of GDP and producing 80% of Uganda’s manufactured output.

Patrick further said SMEs today continue to be plagued with challenges that limit their potential, including lack of financial support and lack of skills. “Stanbic Bank, through this incubator, is nurturing SMEs in order for them to develop and grow by bridging the identified gaps.”