The Stanbic Business Incubator las week awarded 352 Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with graduation certificates in enterprise development program after a three-month completion of the training session in business management, capacity building and upskilling programmes.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at Kololo, Emma Mugisha, Executive Director and Head, Corporate and Investment Banking at Stanbic Bank said, “For close to three years now, it has been instrumental in enhancing the capacity for thousands of SMEs. Our resent research shows improvements in productivity and revenue gains for the SMEs that have completed this training. This positive change is contributing towards the growth and improved performance of SMEs across the country and as Stanbic we are proud to lead this journey.”
Adding to Mugisha’s remarks, Tony Otoa, CEO of Stanbic Business Incubator said, they’re committed to supporting SMEs by imparting skills ranging from compliance, corporate governance and business planning and analysis to financial literacy and business ethics among other things.
The 2020 training was mainly done through a Learning Management System and Zoom. The sessions were blended with self-study for enhanced and more effective learning through content shared on a customized learning platform.
“To support continued learning during the pandemic, we decided to take the training online. This enabled us to deliver at the district level as well. At the regional level we were able to train in 10 districts across the three major regions of the country. A total of 216 micro SMEs benefited from the Business Development Services and coaching support,” explains Mugisha.
He added, “For continued support of the programme, we partnered with the bank and CCX to develop a Covid-19 information hub where SMEs can access information on how to steer their business through the pandemic, training and funding opportunities.”
Giving testimonials on the program;
Michael Senteza one of the graduates, said the training has not only enlightened him but also redirected his management skills, opened up new opportunities and ventures for his business to expand and reach great heights. He explains that, “With the new outlook and refreshed perspective, we see our business developing strategic partnerships and establishment of a strong and sustainable brand that can weather the storms of economic uncertainty through professional structures, planning and compliance.”
Lorna Nsiima another graduate said, “The Incubator provides an environment where business owners get to learn vital and practical requirements for a business to survive and thrive, not only in Uganda, but in the wider regional and global economies. As a manager, I now have more clarity in regard to our company structure and goals.”
The graduates of the Stanbic Business Incubator entailed a wide range of SMEs in various sectors like construction, transport, logistics, renewable energy, hospitality, agribusiness and manufacturing and consumer goods and services.
Uganda ranked as a top entrepreneurial country in the world with over 160,000+ SMEs that account for 90% of the entire private sector. This sector also employs over 2.5 million people and contributes 20% of GDP and yet 80% of the SMEs do not make it to their second or third birthday.
In 2018, Stanbic Bank took on the responsibility to address this challenge by setting up the Stanbic Business Incubator in Kampala. The training is intended to support SMEs to become more sustainable and help scale up their operations in a professional manner.
Since its inception, a total of 1,216 SMEs and 2,392 individuals to date have been trained and benefited from the program. In addition, 70% of companies that have gone through the program have registered positive growth through offering improved working conditions for their employees, creating new direct and indirect employment opportunities, increased revenue growth, practicing compliance and have improved governance.