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SMEs complete business survival, recovery and continuity training

Mumba Kalifungwa, Absa Bank Uganda MD hands over a certificate to the proprietor of Design World Ltd as Donald Agaba, Program Head of Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) and Alfred Agaba, MD of ACLAIM Africa look on.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A total of 60 decision-makers from 46 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises have graduated from the pandemic-response online Business Continuity and Survival Training that was organized by the Employment and Skills for Development in Africa Programme (E4D) in September 2020.

The E4D programme is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is co-funded in Uganda by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and implemented by GIZ.

This training was on Feb.22, delivered by ACLAIM Africa Limited in partnership with Absa Bank Uganda Limited and targeted SMEs in the construction, manufacturing, tourism, and hospitality sectors.

The training was designed to build the capacity of SMEs in some of the worst-affected sectors of the economy to help them manage the economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The training was grounded on a needs-based assessment of each SME to identify business processes that required improvement. It covered eight modules, namely: Building Financial Management Systems; Financing a Business; Managing Costs Effectively; Business Planning, Modelling and Management; Acquiring and Retaining Customers; Running Business Online; Leading and Managing People; and Managing Risk in Business. Together, the modules built the capacities of SMEs to make sound strategic decisions thus ensuring business continuity through crises such as that created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fiona Komugisha, the project manager at Environment and Social Safeguards International (ESSI), one of the participating SMEs, says the training and coaching was helpful, and her enterprise is applying many of the learnings.

“Having gone through cost management models, we have been able to cut down unnecessary processes and steps in our payment processes,” Komugisha said.

Donald Agaba, the E4D Uganda team leader said, “I admire your spirit of entrepreneurship and the commitment with which you have undertaken this training and seen it through to the end. The skills you have learned from here will play a great role in the growth of your businesses as we embark on the journey of economic recovery.”

Mumba Kalifungwa said, “Absa Bank Uganda’s managing director, said, “The pandemic adversely affected the economy and more so SMEs, some of which were unable to withstand the shock. This training was essential to equip business owners with the knowledge to better navigate these uncertain times.”

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