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Businessman Sekalala Jr Tips Entrepreneurs On Business Survival

Businessman Aga Sekalala Junior (pictured) has said that spirituality is very important in the survival of an enterprise.

The businessman told hundreds of young entrepreneurs that many reasons have been put forward about why businesses in Uganda fail at their initial stages, yet spirituality is never thought of.

According to him, honesty, and relationship with the customers, neighbors, and employees are vital input and yet, if neglected, leads to a slow death of the business.

Sekalala, who presided over the graduation of more than 1000 from a two-year Stanbic Business Incubation program, said many Ugandans ignore what looks like small things but are ones that build a character of an entrepreneur.

These include honoring the time and delivering orders in the agreed time frame, which many entrepreneurs underestimate.

While researchers say that the majority of Ugandans have ever started a business, many no longer run them and are instead employed by others.

This, according to Sekalala, is because Ugandans give up easily after failing, instead of using the failure as an experience to use in a future business.

However, success in the early stages of a business is also a challenge, especially for young entrepreneurs, and can lead to its failure.

This irony, according to Sekalala can be overcome by learning how to manage success.

The training modules included Enterprise Development Program, Micro Enterprise Development Program, and Supplier Development Program; to equip them with relevant business skills.

The initiative is aimed at ensuring business survival, enabling entrepreneurs to access finance through making their projects attractive or bankable, access to markets as well as acquiring operational skills.

“The goal is to see Uganda’s small businesses, regarded as the engine for economic growth, improve their operations and profits and create new jobs and business opportunities for women and youth,” said Tony Otoa, Stanbic Business Incubator Ltd.

On marketing skills, the entrepreneurs were urged to use online tools as optimally as possible, by taking advantage of any social media platform that comes up.

However, they were cautioned about the content they post and avoid mixing business with what can be counterproductive content on the same platforms, because this can easily influence the attitude of one’s clients.

Cathy Adengo, Stanbic Head of Sustainability urged entrepreneurs to focus on environmental and social issues when doing business since the environment, climate, and human rights protection are becoming part of the global discussion on business support and financing.

Aisha Mayanja, a graduate and founder, Ewaffe Cultural Village said there were things that they had never thought about and yet turned out to be very important.

“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,” she said.

In 2019, the SBIL received funding from the GIZ Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) program to enable the expansion of the Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) to support SMEs in Gulu and Mbarara districts.

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.

Emma Mugisha, the Head of Business and Commercial at Stanbic urged entrepreneurs to always seize training opportunities and called on other corporations to support such initiatives.

Mugisha said it can be frustrating when time and resources are put into starting and running a business only for it to fail a few months later.

But she attributes this to impulsive investing, especially where some are driven by what they have seen, without planning, researching the market and competition, or seeking managerial skills.

-URN

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