Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (FSME) has partnered with The Innovation Village (TIV) to provide digital literacy to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Uganda.
This partnership aims to address the urgent need for digital skills among SMEs and MSMEs, which account for 90% of the business sector in Uganda.
According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), MSMEs face significant challenges in accessing finance, markets, and technology in Africa and in Uganda alone, MSMEs account for 75% of private sector employment, yet only 16% have access to formal finance. This lack of access to resources, combined with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and several other challenges has created a need for innovative solutions to support MSMEs and enable them to build resilience and grow their businesses.
Speaking during the MOU signing event at the Innovation Village Ntinda, Mr. Arthur Mukembo, the Future Lab Lead at the Innovation village said that “The partnership is under the Digital Economy program which we are implementing with our partners Mastercard Foundation. Some of the objectives of this partnership include designing and implementing digital skilling programs that will support the growth and business resilience of MSMEs, delivering innovation capacity building while supporting FSME and its members with designing, refining, and implementing innovation strategies that promote business growth and create jobs for young people,” he also added that “all of this is going to be achieved by building a reporting dashboard tool for FSME as part of a capacity building and institutional strengthening initiative”.
Also speaking during the event, the executive director of FSME’s Mr. John Kakungulu Walugembe emphasized the importance of this partnership and how it is going to benefit MSMSE’s. He explained that “by increasing efficiency and productivity for MSMEs to automate tasks and streamline operations we are heading towards higher productivity and profitability. We are glad to partner with the Innovation Village and equally excited to be championing MSMEs resilience, competitiveness and sustainability in this burgeoning digital economy.”
Saul Weikama, the Digital Economy Practice lead at the Innovation Village explained that the Digital Economy program has the potential to transform the way MSMEs operate and access markets, as many lack digital literacy and skills needed to take full advantage of these opportunities, FSME and TIV partnership comes in, offering MSMEs access to digital literacy campaigns, technology solutions providers, financial services, business development services (BDS), and resilience support”.
By building digital literacy among MSMEs, this partnership is expected to increase their participation in the digital economy program and ultimately lead to greater financial inclusion, business growth, and job creation.
The partnership between The Innovation Village (TIV) and the Federation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (FSME) is a significant step towards empowering and supporting MSMEs in Uganda by leveraging the recently launched Digital Economy Program at The Innovation Village. Through digital skilling programs and innovative digital solutions, MSMEs will have access to the resources and tools needed to grow their businesses, create jobs and build resilience in the face of challenges which will lead to creating new opportunities for growth and job creation in the country while serving last mile users.