UDB Earmarks Shs70bn For Five Strategic Sectors

Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDBL) has announced five strategic sectors to enhance their target of achieving the 2nd Development Plan.

Speaking at the breakfast meeting held at the Hotel Africana on

Thursday, Patricia Ojangole, the UDBL CEO said that the bank has approved Shs70bn to finance key economic sectors.

“UBDL will play a lead role in financing and advisory in five strategic areas. These include agriculture, tourism, oil and gas and infrastructure development,” she said, adding that so far over 19,000 (directly and indirectly) workers have been supported in 2016 and the value of social, economic impact for the preferred sectors is estimated at Shs4 trillion if the sectors are financed up 90%.

Ojangole explained that by 2020, if the key 5 sectors are financed and implemented effectively will lead to an average growth rate of 6.3%.

She said interest rates will vary between 7% and 10%.

Mohamoud Andama , the Manager- Business Development at UDBL  pointed out that the preferred mode of funding will be through project financing and over 150 projects will be targeted in the priority sectors.

The bank has also introduced new products among them include Asset and Equity Financing, where the bank will peg its equity investment to 20% to 25% of the total investment.

The government of Uganda promised to capitalize the bank to the tune of Shs500bn, starting with Shs50bn in financial year 2016/17.

 

Dfcu To Hold Business Clinics For SME Clients

dfcu Bank, in partnership with Enterprise Uganda, on Tuesday announced that it will hold 12 business clinics for its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) customers.

The announcement was made during a press briefing which also doubled as the first training session at Mackinnon Suites.

The clinics will be held over the course of the next six months and will centre on growing the skill sets of the beneficiaries.

They will also focus on the five functional areas of a business; Marketing, Finance, Human Resource, Strategic planning and Operations.

Speaking at the press briefing, the dfcu Bank Managing Director, Juma Kisaame said the Business Clinics were part of the Bank’s strategy to empower the SME business community.

“Using the M-S-F Model, Enterprise Uganda will provide both practical and theoretical training to our SME clients. These training sessions will cater to 35-40 people per session and will cover various aspects related to operating a successful business operation.”

He added: “For the next six months, we will mobilize our customers to attend two training sessions each month- and our expectation is that they will be better equipped to manage their businesses.” Kisaame emphasized the Bank’s commitment to the Ugandan market saying, “dfcu Bank is firmly dedicated to offering tailor-made solutions to our clients with the belief that in turn, they will help them grow both their personal and business investments. The Business Clinics will cover a range of topics including marketing, branding, human resource management and several more, which we believe will offer invaluable learning to business owners and managers.”

Kisaame concluded by saying all participants in the clinics would be required to create action plans- which would be used during the advisory sessions scheduled to take place a month after the completion of the clinics.

 

6 Ways To Become A Millionaire While Working For Someone Else

Jobs

You’ll never get rich working for someone else, or so they say.

Many feel the risky, adventurous life of an entrepreneur is the surefire pathway of becoming a millionaire but what if you’re happier and more comfortable working for a boss who pays for your medical insurance?

According to some estimates, if you’re considering becoming an entrepreneur you’ll have to make 35 percent more than your current salary to fully replace the income a day job brings in each month.

For someone with a family to support, leaving the safety of a salaried position is risky, even if it might be more lucrative down the road.

If you’re set on becoming a millionaire, but you also want the security of working for someone else, here are a few options to consider.

1. Earn Partner Status

Partnerships aren’t just for law firms. Look for a small business or startup where you have a shot at becoming a business partner at some point. While many business owners either choose to form a partnership or sole ownership from the start, a small business founder can definitely change that as a company grows.

If you work hard, bring certain expertise to the table and show your leadership capabilities, take the opportunity to pitch the idea of joining your boss in running things. That could lead to a much larger share of revenue over the following years — even eventual millionaire status. That kind of thing certainly won’t come as quickly if you shy away from daring to become a leader at your company.

2. Take Stock Options

Stock options are usually negotiated during the job interview process. Find a company that offers stock options, even if the salary is a bit lower. This consideration has become very popular in the startup world of Silicon Valley. Talented candidates want to know how long it will take their options to vest before they sign on with a company.

All that aside, it’s important to understand the harsh reality that stock options rarely make employees millionaires by themselves. There’s no guarantee the company will ever be acquired or go public, and the odds are that you won’t receive millions in the deal even if it does. Consider this as an investment, among others you might make in the stock market or real estate market.

3. Live Below Your Means

The less you spend, the more you have in the bank. You can’t save money if you’re spending too much of it consistently. The entire theory behind “the millionaire next door” is that many of the wealthiest people are living well below their means.

This may amount to years, or even decades, of living in a small house or driving a used car but if it pays off later, it’s well worth it. In some cases, saving money is actually better than earning more money, especially when you remember you have to pay taxes in April and it helps to have money in the bank for that.

4. Invest Wisely

Navigating the stock market can be tricky. It’s also a way to quickly increase your income, provided you know what you’re doing and you have the extra time and energy to devote to becoming good at it.

Many entrepreneurial-minded people are skilled at spotting a solid business concept and putting their money into it. They keep an eagle eye on the performance of a wide range of different stocks and industries, much the same way a football fan might pore over stats and standings of their fantasy team.

If you’re completely clueless about the stock market, put serious time into finding a financial expert who can direct you on the best investments to reach your goals. Once you have the extra income, you can also consider investing in real estate or rental properties to boost your monthly earnings.

5. Take Over The Business

Eventually, the business owner will retire or move on to other ventures. That could be your chance to shine.

If your business owner isn’t even close to retirement age, look for the possibility that he or she may someday want to set the business aside to work on other ventures.

Throughout your tenure with the company, showi you have the passion and work ethic necessary to run the business in the current owner’s absence. If you’re a trusted employee, chances are you’ll get more and more responsibility for leading the company as the years progress. If you can’t imagine wanting to take over the business you currently work for, consider exploring a different field.

6. Start A Side Business

Once your day job ends, your side hustle should begin. With today’s technology, you don’t have to invest in a physical office and a team of employees to start a new business.

Keeping your job and becoming a millionaire may mean toiling away night after night to build your client base to build a steady revenue flow so you can leave your salaried position behind someday. Make sure your side business doesn’t pose a conflict of interest to your day job while you still rely on it to pay your bills.

Few millionaires are made overnight. It takes years of hard work and forethought to reach that type of income level. Like most people, if you want to generate more money, you’ll need to do it while you’re working for someone else, at least at the start.

Keep in mind just how much work it is to set up a new business, learn what your customers want as well as create a product or service that matches that.

Sacrifice is the name of the game and it’s not right for everyone. It’s still attainable though, as long as you stay disciplined, think quickly and persevere over the long haul.

-The Entrepreneur

Facebook Hits Two Billion Users

More than a quarter of the world’s population now uses Facebook every month, the social network says.

“As of this morning, the Facebook community is now officially two billion people,” founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg posted.

The milestone comes just 13 years after the network was founded by Mr Zuckerberg when he was at Harvard.

He famously dropped out of the university after launching the global social-networking website.

The internet giant announced it had one billion monthly users in October 2012, meaning it has doubled the number of its users in just less than five years.

The firm’s continuing growth will confound critics who have long predicted that the social network’s growth would slow down as rivals such as Snapchat stole its users.

Earlier this year, Facebook warned that growth in advertising revenues would slow down.

Nonetheless, Mr Zuckerberg’s ambitions remain huge.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder

He told USA Today the firm had not made “much fanfare” about hitting the two billion figure because “we still haven’t connected everyone”.

“What we really care about is being able to connect everyone,” he said.

The firm’s rapid growth has put pressure on its ability to moderate violent and illegal content posted on its site.

The most recent high profile incident involved a man in the US posting a video of himself to the site, showing him shooting and killing an elderly man.

Last month Facebook said it was hiring 3,000 extra people to moderate content on its site.

 

Why You Should Start Investing In Financial Assets Now

By Godfrey Kenneth Gobba

The concept of investing our money in financial assets like Stocks, Treasury Bills and Government Bonds is still very foreign to many of us and remains subject to public skepticism.

Historically, the only assets we knew were land and houses, but here are three reasons why I believe that you need to start embracing financial assets.

Affordability

Contrary to public opinion, financial assets are very affordable. You only need a minimum of UShs100, 000 to invest in a Treasury bill or a Government bond.

The stock market is even much more affordable because even as little as Shs10, 000 can be used to invest in shares. For the price of a kilo of meat you can become a shareholder in a profitable corporation worth billions like a commercial bank or a manufacturing company etc.

Can you buy a plot of land with Shs50, 000? Can you construct a house with Shs500, 000?

Liquidity

Financial assets are very liquid compared to land and houses. You can easily recover your money when you need it back and you can easily buy and sell financial assets when you need to.

To sell your plot of land, it could even take you up to three months to find a buyer willing to pay your desired price. So if you need the cash urgently, you could end up stuck with your land.

Whereas if you wanted to sell your shares, it could take you between two to five working days or even less.

With “oil money” coming into the picture, we should even see increased liquidity levels in our financial markets due to increased public participation as well as increased market making activity by financial institutions like banks and insurance companies.

What this means for you is that you will be able to buy and sell financial assets instantly or within just a few hours without worrying about the availability of buyers or sellers.

So as you acquire more land and houses, you should consider diversifying into some financial assets for liquidity’s sake.

Accessibility

How long would it take you to find the perfect plot of land that you can buy?

Buying land involves surveying several plots of land before finding a suitable purchase; surveying the land to make sure it’s the right dimensions, conducting checks to make sure the land title is legit and problem free etc. This could take anything between two weeks to three months or more.

Buying financial assets like shares only involves finding a stock broker, opening up a free of charge Securities Central Depository (SCD) account, depositing your money and finally placing your order.

This process will cost you less than 30 minutes to fill in the necessary forms, and between two to three working days before you can place your order, making financial assets much more accessible compared to land and houses.

Conclusion

We cannot undermine the importance of owning land and houses, but neither should we undermine the importance of financial assets to the wealth creation and preservation process.

We need a mindset shift in our country. We cannot keep on investing like our grandparents because we are living in a different economic environment from what they enjoyed.

Land is a beautiful asset to own, but so are shares. Rental income from houses boosts our financial security, but so does assured interest payments from government bonds.

My appeal to you is that you should start investing some of your money in financial assets like Stocks, Treasury Bills and Government Bonds. Now is the time to start.

The author is CEO, African Investor Academy

Email:  godfrey@theinvestmentguru.co.ug

Agency Banking Will Boost Small Businesses-Equity Bank Boss

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will blossom once agency banking takes root in Uganda, Equity Bank Uganda  Executive Director, Anthony Kituuka has said.

He revealed this while addressing members of over 40 Investment Clubs at a Cocktail event held on Thursday at the Protea Hotel, Kampala.

The event was aimed at discussing the Equity investment club account and digital era.

Speaking to Business Focus at the sidelines of the event, Kituuka said delayed issuance of agency banking guidelines from Bank of Uganda (BoU) has partly affected SMEs in rural areas that aren’t currently served by banks.
Speaking with Business Focus on the sidelines at the cock tail party
“The law is already in place; we are only waiting for regulation (guiidelines) from Bank of Uganda to rollout. With agency banking, the bank agents can be anywhere without necessarily banks opening branches there,” he said
Kituuka says that banking agents can provide bank services outside bank offices anywhere.
It is estimated that over six million Ugandans have accounts with banks and currently, over nine out of 10 adults in Uganda need to travel for more than an hour to access a bank branch.

In the East African region, Equity Bank boosts of having over 27,000 banking agents in Kenya alone and over 2,000 in Rwanda and DRC, serving effectively the investment clubs which have been able to invest massively in various ventures.

According to Kituuka, the unveiled investment club culture at Equity Bank will bring more numbers to own accounts with the bank.
“We want people to open up accounts with the bank. Imagine members of SACCOs through investment clubs accounts will have access to bank services,” he said.
He added that Investment Clubs aid the growth of (SMEs).

Peter Mboowa,  the Head of Treasury at Equity Bank said they started the investment account to help their customers  in the record book keeping and save wisely.
“During our research, we discovered a lot of challenges and perception about the investment clubs. People cited lack of transparency, poor saving culture and ignorance,” he said.

How Kamazi Earns Extra Cash From Making Banana Wine

After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Social Administration from Uganda Christian University, Mukono, her husband lieutenant David Gumizamu wanted her to get a formal job.

However, she was determined to start her own business. Today, Francisca Kamazi, a resident of Ryashana I, Kashenyi ward in Ishaka-Bushenyi Municipality is a proud business owner, more so adding value to Matooke (bananas). This is earning her extra money which she woudnt othersie have earned if she sold raw matooke.

After convincing the husband, Kamazi started ‘Gala Wine’ in December 2008.

“I started brewing wine with only two bunches of Matooke and got four jerrycans of pure wine, but by then, my idea was to produce in small quantities to be consumed by my family members and small numbers of my village. But the demand kept increasing and I convinced my husband to continue brewing wine as a business,” she explains how small she started.

Growing   

Kamazi explains that after acquiring further training in value addition from Uganda Cooperative Alliance, she started producing wine on a large scale. She now earns Shs4m every month and Shs48m annually. Interestingly, she earns Shs60, 000 from a bunch of Matooke yet the current market price for a bunch of Matooke in Bushenyi ranges from Shs10, 000-Shs20, and 000 depending on the size.

She explains that she injects Shs250,000 every week and gets 36 jerrycans of wine.  She says each jerrycan fetches her Shs200, 000.

Kamazi earns an extra Shs40,000 from adding value to matooke

“The small savings I earn from the sales I make are invested back into the project by buying other wine requirements like construction of buildings, paying workers among others which have also helped the project to progress,” she says.

Kamazi adds that  the project which started small has since turned into a community project, with her neighbours getting involved in providing her raw materials (matooke), labour, among others which has slowly contributed to the stability of the project.  Apart from selling it in her home area, her wine is now sold in various parts of the country including Gulu, Mbarara, Lira and Kasese among others.

Challenges

Although market for her wine is massive, limited capital has hindered her expansion plans because the required equipment is expensive.

Achievements

Despite challenges, Kamazi has achieved a number of things including travelling broad and educating her children in good schools in the country. “I was recently in Thailand  for a short course on banana wine making  and now I have a deal with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to develop this project  and put it on the international level,” she says, adding that UNIDO has given her  free training facility, and they want 5000 liters of wine every month.

She says this will benefit the community because the project will create further employment to the local community.

“I have also helped other children in the village to attain education as part of my Community Social Responsibility,” she says.

Future Plans

Kamazi says her project should be well established come 2020 since she has a deal with the UNIDO. “I want to spread this project to other parts of Uganda so that people can learn how to make quick and good money if they want to liberate themselves from poverty,” she says.

Advice

“I must tell people especially the young ones that education means nothing without money; the small businesses you ignore are the ones that produce money,” she says, adding: “If people want to add value to what they produce; they should not hesitate to come back to villages and start small scale enterprises that will enable them get money on a daily basis.”

 

Over 50 Livestock Drop Dead After Feeding On ‘Killer’ Grass

Tens of farmers in Rongai sub-county are counting losses after their livestock died minutes after grazing on suspected poisonous plants.

According to The Standard, the more than 50 animals including cows, goats and sheep are said to have died in a span of two days after consuming the plants at Kimangu and Rift Valley villages.

The animals, according to farmers, did not show any signs of sickness but died instantly after consuming the plants.

Jonathan Kemei, a farmer from Kimangu village, said he lost five dairy cows after he fed them on grass he had collected from Ngonga farm.

Kemei said after consuming the feeds, the cows looked weak and died within a span of 20 minutes.

“I collected grass that had been cut in a nearby farm but the cows appeared uncomfortable after consuming the grass.

I rushed to seek advice from a vet but on arrival, I found the animals dead,” said Mr Kemei.

Another farmer, Jane Njeri, lost two cows, two goats and sheep under unclear circumstances on Wednesday night.

Njeri said she fed the stock with grass that was collected from the farm and after consuming it, the animals looked weak and thirsty.

She provided the cows with clean drinking water and alongside a mineral boost but they died after taking the water.

Losing more animals

Another farmer, Patrick Karemi, lost five goats and two sheep and now fears he might end up losing more animals.

Karemi, a father of four, said he had be dealt a blow as goat production was his new agribusiness venture and that he used to produce two-and-a-half litres of milk per dairy goat, selling at Sh70 a litre.

The farmer asked the Ministry of Agriculture to conduct quick investigations about cause of the stock to ensure no more stocks would be lost.

The area agricultural extension officer Nelson Mwangi asked farmers to dispose of the carcasses in a proper manner to avoid spread of diseases.

Mr Mwangi said the stock may have died as a result of accumulated acid in the grass attributed to prolonged dry spell that was witnessed in the sub county.

Nakuru Agriculture Executive Stanley Chepkwony confirmed the deaths and said samples had been taken to the Rift Valley veterinary laboratory for examination. Chepkwony said livestock experts were ready to take action against any disease outbreak.

 

How To Grow Your Business Using Venture Capital

Many start-ups fail to grow due to limited capital. And many that seek to expand using bank loans don’t qualify because they lack security.

However, in developed countries, small private businesses have expanded using equity funding and venture capital.

Equity financing is the process of raising capital through the sale of shares in an enterprise. Equity financing essentially refers to the sale of an ownership interest to raise funds for business purposes. This largely takes place through the stock exchange.

On the other hand, Venture capital is financing that investors provide to start-up companies and small businesses that are believed to have long-term growth potential. For start-ups without access to capital markets, venture capital is an essential source of money.

This means that one doesn’t need to look up to bank loans only for business growth because there are many investors willing to invest in a business that has potential for growth.

To try make Ugandans understand the above concepts, on June 20, 2017, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) in partnership with other private sector players organised the 3rd Private Equity and Venture Capital (PEVC) Conference with the theme, converting private investors into private equity. The event took place at the Kampala Serena Hotel.

Uganda like many developing countries has less developed stock markets, private equity and venture capital.

According to Garvin Onaba, an Enterprise Business Analyst at Bank of Uganda (BoU), for one to attract private equity and venture capital, they must have unique business ideas.

“People should avoid copy cat concepts; many Ugandan businesses are merely duplication of ideas,” Onaba said, adding that ideas copied elsewhere and implemented locally can’t attract funders.

Dr. Edward Isingoma, the Managing Partner at Pearl Capital Markets revealed that investment interests must be aligned well in a logical flow.

“Misalignment of investment objectives has led many companies to lose out on capital,” he said, adding that competing interests usually develop after the entity has received the requested capital.

He urged business seeking for venture capital to thoroughly carryout pre-investment work.

“The foundation for the business is right at the birth of the idea; make your research with due diligence and fine-tune your idea including testing your business model, proposals, investment plans e.tc. All investors need return on capital, this is sometimes exhibited in the amount of effort you invest in terms of time and resources to showcase your entity,” he said.

Charles Ocici, the Executive Director at Enterprise Uganda while delivering a keynote speech argued the entrepreneurial society to start businesses and expand them by utilizing the available resources effectively and efficiently.

Ocici delivering his keynote speech

He noted that to attract private equity and venture capital, one must be already in business.

He noted that the belief that many of Ugandan enterprises don’t see their 5th birthday is a discouragement to private equity funders.

“Developing a savings and investment culture is important; don’t spend more than you earn. Whether at individual or organizational level, this is the principle to growth,” he said, adding:

“In a country where private equity is at 5% and banking at 95% with high interest rates, savings and re-investment can elevate the business to a level attractive for private equity.”

He added that whether it is individual money or finances from family and friends, a high level of integrity is key to attract capital into one’s business.

“Private funders will track and know how you have interacted with the previous funds at your disposal, this not withstanding your relations with banks and other business partners,” he said.

Ocici urged start-ups to set up a clear and good governance system in their operations.

“The vision, style of management, systems and strategy must be spot on to the main objective of the funder; which is making profits, or benefiting the intended beneficiaries in case of impact investors,” he told Business Focus at the sidelines of the event.

The 3rd Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference is part of the activities of The Annual Uganda Investment Week 2017, climaxing with The Investor of the Year Gala, with the theme; “Local Content: A drive to sustainable growth.”  This is scheduled to take place tomorrow (Friday).

The Annual Uganda Investment Week 2017 was opened by the State Minister for Investment, Evelyn Anite at Serena Hotel.

She emphasized government commitment to attract investors, specifically PEVC from Qatar, noting that Islamic Banking legislation will soon become effective.

Minister Anite said government is determined to fight corruption

She added that government is determined to fight corruption by wiping out middlemen who dupe investors.

Nakumatt Woes Deepen, 100 Sent Packing

Nakumatt’s financial troubles appear to have deepened last month with cash-flow problems delaying payment of salaries for more than two weeks.

Kenya’s largest retail chain, which runs the highest number of outlets in East Africa, had by Monday not paid 1,555 employees their May salaries and had sent more than 100 on compulsory leave, citing low business volumes.

The retailer, which has 5,700 employees in Kenya, said a delay in completing the restructuring of its business – which involves attracting fresh capital — has seen it fail to honour this monthly liability on time, leaving its staff in financial distress.

Some employees told the Business Daily that Nakumatt has also not been remitting statutory deductions to various agencies such as the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and National Social Security Fund (NSSF, but the retailer insists they are up to date.

 

Nakumatt, which is planning to shut down nonperforming branches, on June 6 sent hundreds of employees at its Mombasa Road warehouse on forced break, following a dip in supplies that had left them “idle” for weeks.

The retail chain Monday admitted that it had not paid the May salaries, but promised that the matter would be settled next week.

“We had a delay in some salary payments. The restructuring has taken longer than anticipated and affected some of our liabilities,” Andrew Dixon, Nakumatt’s marketing director, told the Business Daily in an interview.

Mr Dixon said the retail chain had informed its staff of the looming delay and was “working to ensure that everybody receives their salaries this week.”

Nakumatt has in recent years been on a debt-funded acquisition spree that saw it take up space in multiple new malls, chalking up financing costs and disrupting cash flow.

The retail chain, which is awaiting a $75 million (about Sh7.7 billion) cash injection from an unnamed private equity fund, has in the past three months seen stocks disappear from its shelves as big suppliers such as Unilever stopped deliveries due to mounting debts.

Nakumatt has since the year began closed some stores in Uganda – a move that has seen aggrieved suppliers and landlords sue for non-payment of KSh515 million.

Uganda’s minister for veterans, Bright Rwamirama, last week took Nakumatt to court seeking to be paid Sh58.6 million in rent arrears that he, and other partners, are claiming from the retailer for use of their premises in Mbarara. The outlet has since been closed.

In order to ease the financial pressure in anticipation of the capital injection, the retailer has decided to consolidate its business by closing non-performing branches and culling slow-moving stock.

As part of this process, Nakumatt last month shut down one of two warehouses (where it stores imported goods as well as furniture and electronics) along Nairobi’s Mombasa Road.

Management has also installed a new warehouse management system which, coupled with the low turnaround of stocks across the country, has left many jobs at risk.

Two weeks ago, Nakumatt’s human resource team rounded up employees at its headquarters and asked them to fill compulsory leave forms, promising to recall them at a later date.

“We have peaks and drops in demand. And since the demand has dropped in recent weeks, we thought it was not wise to have people sitting around idle. It is not good for morale,” said Mr Dixon.

“This is not a permanent situation. When the anticipated refinancing happens, we will be better placed in terms of stock and we shall recall the staff we sent home.”