Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Stanbic Bank Uganda has revealed the first fruits of its Business Incubator Programme, two years after its establishment to mentor Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.
The three months long Business Development Programme places selected Small and Medium Enterprises under intensive training in entrepreneurial attitude, financial literacy, business analysis and planning as well as compliance and corporate governance.
Other key themes include Contract and Contract Management, joint ventures, health safety, security, environment and quality, procurement negotiations risk management and insurance, business ethics; bid management, human resources, branding and image building for sustainable growth.
The Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Patrick Mweheire, says the programme has since mentored 500 small and medium enterprises contributing to 62 percent growth in revenues, better productivity and enterprise management following their trainings.
Mweheire says the bank open four regional incubation centres in Gulu, Mbale, Hoima and Mbarara to raise the annual training turnover to 10,000, up from the 1,500 trained over a two-year period.
Stanbic bank currently boasts of 50,000 small and medium enterprises’ clientele with just 300 Corporate Companies such as Roofings Limited and Madhvani Group of Companies.
Mweheire says transforming each of the current small and medium enterprises into job creation entities will propel the engine for economic growth of the country forward with an annual 200,000 new jobs for graduates leaving the various universities.
Peter West, the British Commissioner to Uganda says achieving such transforming will deliver the much needed assault on unemployment in Uganda.
West says he is happy the British taxpayer’s money donated to Uganda is unlocking business potentials for the country.
The two were speaking to the Press on the side-line of the 4th Graduation of 156 small and medium enterprises at the Incubation Center in Kololo on Thursday. They said next year, the incubator will focus more on the creative industry and the agriculture sector in order to reach more Ugandans trapped in unemployment in the countryside.
During the graduation, 468 entrepreneurs from 156 SMEs were passed out.
Tony Okao Otoa, the Bank’s Enterprise Development Programme Manager says the Enterprises will undergo a yearlong Monitoring and Coaching programme to mentor them to growth.
Otoa revealed that to scale up, the Bank is piloting on the field Agriculture incubation in Kasese district in which 300 farmers are trainings from various producer cooperatives.
“The farmers are in groups. We provided them with fertilizers and we would like to mentor them through the entire value chain to ascertain a proper roadmap for scaling up to other parts of the country” he said.
Julia Mager, the Team Leader for the GIZ E4D/SOGA Programme which partners with Stanbic Bank in implementing the Business Incubator Programme says they intend to enter more partnership next year to better reach more people.
“The incubator has brought much-needed business development services to Ugandan enterprises. I encourage the SMEs to support each other through collective sector-based mentorship in order to overcome sector challenges” she stated.
The partners hope the SMEs can contribute services and supplies to the Country’s Oil and Gas Sector in line with the National Local Content Policy for Oil and Gas Sector Development.