Over 2000 entrepreneurs have graduated with relevant business skills at the Stanbic Business Incubator training. The graduates participated in various training modules in the Stanbic Accelerator Program, Enterprise Development Program, Micro Enterprise Development Program, and Supplier Development Program between January 2022 and April 2023.
Aisha Mayanja (Founder of Ewaffe Cultural Village), one of the graduates of the Enterprise Development Program said, “We were forced to do market research and competitor’s analysis after the training, these are things we never thought we needed to do. “We have been trained on the importance of being compliant and formally registered.”
Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at Hotel Africana, Stanbic Business Incubator’s CEO Mr. Tony Otoa said the training emphasized three key areas namely; Access to markets, Access to finance, and Business operational skilling, all of which are necessary for the growth of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
Otoa also noted that these small businesses are universally regarded as key engines of economic growth, and therefore, the Stanbic Business Incubator closely supports them in order to access the financial services and skills they need to grow and thrive.
Otoa while concluding his remarks remarked that it’s the incubator’s goal to see Uganda’s small businesses improve their operations and profits and create new jobs and business opportunities for women and youth. Adding that they continue supporting entrepreneurs to exploit their potential in various ways through networking, connecting them to market platforms, and guiding them on how to be competitive locally and internationally.
While speaking on behalf of the project’s development partners, GIZ Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) Uganda program, Team Leader, Mr. Donald Agaba applauded the Stanbic Business Incubator for the significant achievements and their solid partnership with them since 2019.
“We have partnered with Stanbic Business Incubator since 2019 and in our recent program evaluations we established that 1,400 jobs were created as a result of these trainings,” remarked Agaba while applauding the incubator’s achievements and solid partnership thus far.
Agaba also noted that the role of MSMEs in a country’s social economic development cannot be downplayed because of their contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to the creation of decent jobs. Emphasizing that E4D would continue promoting local employment through capacity development in partnership with the Incubator.
Aga Ssekalala Jr, a renowned entrepreneur who was the Guest of Honor at the graduation ceremony advised the graduates on the need to uphold values like honesty, hard work, and integrity. “The real success is not in the financial gains but in the positive impact you create as entrepreneurs from the financial gains, and that’s the success you should embrace,” he stressed.
Cathy Adengo, The Head of Sustainability at Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited, said the company will continue to support entrepreneurs in their journey as they drive economic growth. “Sustainability is a critical pillar in the Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited’s agenda through providing easily accessible finance solutions and mentorship to entrepreneurs especially those in the agriculture sector.”
Ms. Emma Mugisha, the Head of Business and Commercial at Stanbic Bank, called on entrepreneurs to always seize training opportunities such as the Stanbic Business Incubator training. She noted that the capacity building and training for SMEs through the incubator has been critical in equipping business owners with skills to survive through turbulent economic periods.
Ms. Mugisha also pointed out that “Stanbic Uganda Holdings is building an eco-system through its five subsidiaries that include Stanbic Bank, Fly Hub, Stanbic Business Incubator, Stanbic Properties Limited, and SBG securities to support entrepreneurs and drive Uganda’s economic growth as well as create networks and collaboratively work with entrepreneurs.
Stanbic Business Incubator developed the Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) in 2018, supporting 190 SMEs in Kampala by building their capacity to actively participate in Uganda’s natural resource sector.
In 2019, the incubator received funding from the GIZ Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) program to enable the expansion of the EDP to support SMEs in Gulu and Mbarara districts to become more competitive, attain sustainable growth, and create jobs.
Based on the promising results recorded by E4D in 2019, a new partnership was entered in 2021 to further upscale and expand the Incubator’s reach across the country to cover at least 20 districts through four regional branches