Stanbic Bank Uganda has today awarded 468entrepreneurs from 156Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) certificates after completingbusiness trainingcourses at the bank’s Business Incubator in Kampala.
This is the fourthgraduation ceremony of entrepreneurs from the Stanbic Business Incubator since its inception in February 2018. The training has recently been expanded upcountry to Gulu, Hoima and Mbarara where regional incubator centres have been established. In Hoima for example, 32 business associations have been set up and 80 in Mbarara to add to the 150 started in Kampala.
Stanbic Bank’s Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire said, “Since we started this journey in2018, I am pleased we are hosting the Fourth graduation ceremony were 156 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be awarded their certificates having completed business training over the past three months. Over this period, businesses have gone through different training sessions ranging from compliance, corporate governance, business planning and analysis, financial literacy, business ethics, joint ventures, contracting, risk and insurance, bid management, procurement and negotiation, quality management, branding and image building among others.”
Mweheire said, “Recent statistics show improvements in real productivity and revenue gains made by businesses that have completed the training.62% of the companies showed positive growth through expansion into new markets and have taken on new employees. This demonstrates the continued growth we hope to for SMEs across the country.”
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the guest of honour His Excellency the British High Commissioner to Uganda – Peter West said, “The Stanbic Business Incubator has brought much needed business development services to Ugandan enterprises and is filling a large gap in the enterprise development landscape.It is important to upscale and improve the SMEs and Stanbic is leading the way in supporting the growth and development of SMEs in Uganda. I am also pleased that Stanbic has recently opened regional incubator centres in Hoima, Mbale, Mbarara and Gulu.”
Stanbic Bank’s Head of Enterprise Development Tony Otoa said, “We are grateful for thepartners that have come on board to support us in this initiative which has allowed us to extend the business incubator services across the country. This has allowed us to expand the services and also reach out to various other parts of the country like Hoima and Gulu.”
“Over the two years since the programmes inception, total of 1,489entrepreneurs from 505 SME’s have been successfully trained and graduated during the last two years,” Tony Otoa added.
Julia Mager, Team Leader for the GIZ E4D/SOGA Programme said, “E4D/SOGA is pleased to be partnering with the Stanbic Incubator. The Incubator has brought much-needed business development services to Ugandan enterprises. The programme aligns with the E4D/SOGA initiative’s objective of promoting local employment through capacity development of both Ugandan enterprises and people, particularly to maximize local benefits brought about by investments in the oil and gas sector.”
She said E4D/SOGA appreciates the Incubator’s sustainable approach which emphasizes leveraging on existing networks and forming new partnerships.
“Based on the E4D/SOGA programme’s prior experience implementing several enterprise development projects, our contribution is enabling the Incubator to expand the reach of these much-needed services to multiple regions presented a unique opportunity to achieve far-reaching impacts in our programme’s key area of focus: getting Ugandan enterprises into lucrative supply chains and Ugandan people into jobs,” she said.
“As you move forward in your growth journey, I encourage SME’s to focus on continuously raising the bar in business and supporting each other through collective sector based mentorship. There are a number of specific sector issues that can only be overcome by working and sharing collectively.” she said.
Looking ahead, Otoa said the Incubator is looking at consolidating the businesses programmes that have been running so far and seek partnerships in order to increase the impact and reach. He highlighted that several partnerships which are in the pipeline will also allow them to launch a challenge fund for businesses to compete and get startup capital or funds to scale-up.