Stanbic Bank Uganda recently awarded 548 entrepreneurs from 122 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) certificates after they completed business training and courses at the Business incubator in Kololo.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Tony Otoa, Stanbic bank’s head of enterprise development, said that they have continued to register an increase in the number of entrepreneurs and SMEs taking advantage of the programme. The graduates went through different training sessions, ranging from contracting, risk and insurance, bid management, procurement and negotiation, quality management, branding and image building, among others.
“At least 62 per cent of companies which have undergone business training at the incubator have showed positive growth through expansion into new markets and have taken on new employees,” he said.
Stanbic bank chief executive Patrick Mweheire said that they are relying on the graduates to create more than a million jobs per year.
“You cannot grow Uganda without growing SMEs, which is why we established a business incubator that provides capacity development. It trains and provides them with soft and hard skills necessary to improve their business operations and compete more effectively in the marketplace,” he said.
Mweheire encouraged business owners to strive harder.
“Following this training session, our biggest hope is that the practical skills you have attained will help you to boost your business, make it more effective and competitive in the market,” he said.
Mweheire also reported that in the next few weeks, they are going to launch regional incubator centres in Mbale, Gulu and Mbarara in order to avail similar training and development opportunities to SMEs upcountry.
The guest of honor at the event, Robert Kasule Ssebunya, the chairperson of the parliamentary tourism, trade and industry committee, who represented the speaker of parliament, cautioned owners of SMEs against operating individually and advised them to create networks if they are to succeed.
He also encouraged them to have traceability so that they can easily access financial assistance from banks and other financial institutions.