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Q&A: Shaping The Future Of Women In Business: A Conversation With Dr. Gudula Naiga Basaza, Chairperson – dfcu Women In Business Advisory Council

 Dr. Gudula Naiga Basaza, the chairperson of dfcu Bank’s Women in Business Advisory Council (WBAC)

In an exclusive Q&A session, we had the privilege to sit down with Dr. Gudula Naiga Basaza, the chairperson of dfcu Bank’s Women in Business Advisory Council (WBAC). This week marked the commissioning of the council, and Dr. Basaza shared valuable insights and what we can expect in the future.

At dfcu Bank, the WBAC has a crucial role in providing strategic advice to the Bank’s management, ensuring that the dfcu Women in Business program remains relevant and impactful amidst today’s dynamic business landscape.

Q: What excites you about serving on the dfcu’s Women Business Advisory Council?

A: I’m excited to join dfcu Bank’s Women Business Advisory Council for several reasons. Firstly, dfcu‘s commitment to innovative solutions for financial inclusion, especially for women, aligns with my values. As an indigenous bank, dfcu empowers women entrepreneurs and has a remarkable legacy of supporting Ugandan businesses that spans more than 50. dfcu sets an inspiring example for other institutions by investing in women-owned businesses through designing suitable financing instruments and fostering economic growth. I look forward to contributing my expertise to further empower women entrepreneurs and foster an inclusive business environment in Uganda.

Q: What have been some of your greatest accomplishments as a council to Ugandan women entrepreneurs?

A: As a council dedicated to empowering Ugandan women entrepreneurs, we take immense pride in our accomplishments, which have significantly raised the profile of women in business and provided them with the necessary support to thrive. Some of our greatest achievements include:

The Women in Business Expo, the Rising Woman Initiative, and regular Networking Activities. We have organized impactful events which provide a platform for women entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services, network with potential partners and customers, and gain visibility in the business community. Through these events, we foster a supportive ecosystem that celebrates the achievements of women entrepreneurs and encourages collaboration.

Establishment of the Women in Business Advisory Centre: One of our most significant achievements is the establishment of the first-ever Women in Business Advisory Centre. This unique facility provides women entrepreneurs with a dedicated space to seek professional, legal, and business advice from reputable partners. It serves as a valuable resource for women seeking guidance on various aspects of their businesses, helping them make informed decisions and overcome challenges.

Support for Business Development: We have taken deliberate steps to empower women in business by providing them with essential tools for growth. Mentorship programs, exposure to new opportunities, training workshops, networking sessions, and coaching sessions have been instrumental in enhancing the capacity and skills of women entrepreneurs. By equipping them with these resources, we have helped women build strong and sustainable businesses.

Q: What  are they challenges facing women in business today?

A: The most significant challenges faced by women in business today include limited knowledge, resources, and networks, hindering their growth and decision-making. Financial constraints and small profit margins restrict their ability to expand and invest in opportunities. Non-compliance with regulations and governance standards poses barriers to formal market access. Additionally, limited competitiveness in the value chain affects their market positioning and opportunities.

Addressing these challenges requires collaboration between stakeholders, including government agencies, financial institutions, and development partners. Empowering women with knowledge, training, and financial resources is crucial to enhancing their growth prospects and driving sustainable economic growth.

Q: The business environment has been very volatile and unpredictable recently, what is your advice to Women entrepreneurs in this regard?

A:

  • In the face of uncertainty, women entrepreneurs are advised to stay resilient and focused on their long-term vision. Streamlining business operations, optimizingresources, and adapting to changing market conditions are important practices.
  • It’s also important to utilize thesupport and resources from programs such as the dfcu Women in Business Advisory Center which practically empowers women entrepreneurs to navigate challenges.
  • Collaboration and networking with other women entrepreneurs offer new prospects and emotional support. With these strategies, women entrepreneurs can thrive in a dynamic business environment and secure long-term success.

About dfcu’s Women in Business Proposition

The dfcu Women in Business was launched in 2007 with the primary objective of creating an enabling environment for Small and Medium Entrepreneurs owners.

It endeavours to create a business enabling environment for women entrepreneurs, with a special focus on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

To learn more, email: womeninbusiness@dfcugroup.com

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