UDB to support over 290 SMEs in its Enterprise Development Program

UDB to support over 290 SMEs in its Enterprise Development Program

Officials from Uganda Development Bank and partners; at Uganda Management Institute, Uganda Registration Services Bureau, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, National Social Security Fund, and Uganda Women Entrepreneurs’ Association Limited in a group photo at at Uganda Management Institute on Tuesday (PHOTO/Courtesy).

KAMPALA – Uganda Development Bank (UDB), the country’s national Development Finance Institution, has launched the Incubator Program under Enterprise Development Product (EDP). The program is designed to prepare enterprises to become investor-ready.

The launch was announced during a press briefing held at Uganda Management Institute (UMI). The program will train an inaugural cohort of 291 enterprises across the country on management best practices, debt management, good governance, record keeping, and financial management among others.

This training is based on the Bank’s wider knowledge of the business, the operating environment, and experience gained from funding, implementing, and monitoring such projects; the program shall be implemented alongside the Bank’s partners including Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), Uganda National Bureau Of Standards (UNBS), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Uganda Investments Authority (UIA), National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and Uganda Women Entrepreneurs’ Association Limited (UWEAL).

Speaking at the launch, The Managing Director of Uganda Development Bank Ms Patricia Ojangole, represented by Mr. Mwesiga Joshua – Director Strategy & Corporate Affairs, noted that, “Together with our partners, we have unveiled the Incubation Program, an initiative that will provide capacity-building training and offer technical support to develop and implement the required processes in the businesses. The objective is to have professionally run businesses that survive the test of time, and that are investor ready.”

Ms. Ojangole added, “SMEs constitute 90% of the private sector and contribute 80% of all manufacturing output, providing 2.5 million jobs. However, only 30% of them survive beyond their third year of operations. Business sustainability is a major problem among Ugandan SMEs, and as a bank, we recognize these issues and are making deliberate efforts to intervene and build sustainable businesses. This is in line with our mandate of improving the quality of lives of Ugandans.”

During the media briefing, Babara Kasekende, Head of Business Advisory at the bank, highlighted how this program is the heartbeat of the bank. She explained that the EDP was created to bridge the gaps between SMES and access to finance.

“This program is aimed at increasing our footprint and impact on Ugandan businesses across the country through Business development services. Handholding entrepreneurs develops the knowledge and skills necessary to grow and sustain their businesses,” she noted.

The incubator program will have a hybrid approach that will be implemented by UDB and Makerere Business School Entrepreneurship Innovation and Incubation Center (MUBS EIIC) for a period of 3 to 9 months. The program will offer training with a customized curriculum designed for Ugandan businesses. The curriculum was created based on the feedback and findings from the first cohort and has been improved to cater to the specific needs of the enterprises and the environment in which they operate.

Ms. Ojangole lauded URSB, UNBS, URA, UIA, NSSF and UWEAL for the critical role in the socio-economic transformation of Uganda and pledged the Bank’s continued commitment towards this agenda.

“UDB is committed to collaborating with its partners to innovate pragmatic solutions to promote socio-economic development. The Bank’s aspiration is to continue serving as a trusted partner to our customers by responsibly providing financial and non-financial services that enable socio- economic progress. Our core activities are hinged on extending relevant solutions that ensure the sustainability of these businesses,” She concluded.

Source: PML Daily

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