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Orient Bank Partners With MUBS To Equip SMEs With Vital Skills

Orient Bank has partnered with Makerere University Business School (MUBS) to train over 30 proprietors of Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) in a move aimed at growing these businesses into large enterprises.

This is the 3rd edition of the Orient Bank Business Academy.

Speaking at the launch of this edition at the Bank’s Kololo branch today, Julius Kakeeto, the Orient Bank Managing Director said beginning July this year, participants will compete for Shs60m in addition to gaining useful skills of growing and sustaining their businesses.

He urged all SMEs with capital value not exceeding Shs120M to take part in this finance literacy programme to equip themselves with relevant skills to enable them survive in the competitive environment.

“A research done by MUBS in 2004 indicated that one in every two Ugandan businesses that were started failed within 3 years. Despite the ranking Uganda got 4 years ago as the most entrepreneurial country in the world, the MUBS research still holds water today as businesses continue to struggle to make it to the 5 year mark,” Kakeeto said.

Orient Bank boss Kakeeto addressing the press

He added: “Any small business that has been in operation for between 1 and 3 years (12 to 36 months) and has an annual turnover of less than Shs120 million is eligible to participate in the Orient Business Academy.”

Participants get an intensive 10 weeks training programme that climaxes into a graduation ceremony at which 5 top performers will be awarded with up to Shs20m to finance their business concepts as selected by the panel of judges.

MUBS Principal, Professor Waswa Balunywa (PhD) said that programmes such as Orient Business Academy hold the key to eradicating unemployment in the country and urged other corporate institutions to adopt the same.

“We are pleased to partner with Orient Bank for the 3rd year running on the Orient Business Academy and we will continue to work together to shape the future of our business economy,” Balunywa said

He added: “Operating a successful business takes a lot of effort and continued learning given the changing trends of business operations globally and locally, especially now in the digital era. I therefore encourage all business owners and entrepreneurs to equip themselves with necessary skills and information to beat the odds…” According to Orient Bank, about 100 SME owners have been trained and 10 of them have been financially rewarded with support of up to Shs120m.

By Aloysious Kasoma

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