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PSFU urges entrepreneurs to be flexible to new ideas

Many entrepreneurs are not open to recommendations like restructuring their company governance system, something that has slowed down their progress, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda has said.

Such business owners need a change of mindset, and drop their deep-seated beliefs, to accommodate differing advice if they are to grow, PSFU has advised. Damalie Ssali, PSFU chief programmes and projects officer, said that local business owners still face governance and mindset issues, which makes them unable to adjust to the business recommendations PSFU provides to them in order to grow.

“One of the critical business advisories we give when we come in is to advise business owners to structure their companies... We encourage distribution of roles like finance, human resource, procurement to professionals, and not the business owner taking on almost all the critical roles in the company,” Ssali said.

Ssali, who was speaking during a courtesy visit to Newman’s Foods Ltd factory in Nakawuka, said that entrepreneurs also have a mindset that if they sell some equity to other investors in order to obtain capital for investment and expansion, they will lose control of their businesses.

“When companies begin to grow, they attract other investors to take equity but sometimes some owners are not open to such investments and instead would rather stay small than give away some equity. That mindset is what we also need to change as some business owners tend to think that they will lose control of their businesses when other investors come in,” she said.

Newman’s is among the 36 local companies that PSFU is supporting through its Lead Firm Structure for Youth Employment programme in partnership with the MasterCard foundation.

Brenda Ankunda, the investment specialist at PSFU, said they have been working with Newman’s Foods since 2021 with a target of creating 5,220 work opportunities for youths.

“We have supported them to build capacity for their outgrowers who are providing them with raw materials,” she said.

Additionally, such firms have been supported with business development services to open up market linkages for them like UNBS certifications for their products, quality packaging, business system strengthening, and market surveys.

“This partnership has made the company able to show its credibility and now they have other people who are interested in co-investing with them and I think that is the best value addition we can give. We have also helped them access other markets especially regional markets in DRC and South Sudan and in Europe.”

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