Uganda Investment Authority in conjunction with Imuka Access have entered into a partnership with the University of Chicago to equip traders in Uganda with advanced business management skills.
Major focus in this initiative has been directed at financially struggling Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which employ more than 10 personnel, and they will majorly be taught financial management skills.
Margaret Nakakande, the lead at Imuka Access said SME’s totaling up to 150 in Kampala and the sorrounding areas will greatly benefit from this impressive initiative.
This, according to her will be facilitated by an accounting and financial systems program organized by UIA, Trade Ministry, Imuka Access, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and the East Africa Venture Capital Association.
“These agencies are going to work together in traversing different businesses in the Kampala Metropolitan Area, and major focus will be put on small and medium enterprises, with 10 workers and above, to see to it that these entities are equipped with financial management skills, and we will follow the correct procedure to ensure that they gain the capacity to ensure their own sustainability, ” Nakakande elaborated.
“As an entity that pays taxes, we want to ensure that these businesses can be able to fully pay taxes and in a timely manner, which ensures that they continue operating without being inconvenienced by tax collection agencies like Uganda Revenue Authority,” added Nakakande.
Roy Masiga, who is also the lead at Imuka Access said the program is tailored towards supporting future expansion of SME’s, their development and access to financing opportunities.
“This program has been established due to limited financing and investments in SME’s in the country resulting from informal nature of their business operations, lack knowledge, lack of relevant documentation due to poor accounting and financial management practices,” Roy Masiga said.
He added that participants will gain a deeper understanding of costing methodologies, financial record keeping best practices, budgeting and financial planning techniques, among other business management skills.
Also delivering her speech during the occasion, Winnie Lawoko, the director in charge of the domestic investment division at UIA revealed that such training endeavors will make it possible for several businesses to graduate to formal entities, widening the country’s formal sector.
“At UIA we hold a big vision of seeing domestic investors transform. Transformation will require a complete turnaround because we are playing in a global environment that critically requires that we are transparent, accessible and visible. Our ethical and globally acceptable practices should be the best ones,” Lawoko Olwe explained.
She further elaborated that the program has come at a time where there is a high rate of business collapse, most especially those which found it hard to operate during the Covid-19 period, and in the aftermath, on top of poor management skills. “This program will help address issues of internal competitiveness of SMEs but also address internal liabilities like failure to file returns, register businesses. We are eager to participate and contribute to this program to ensure our entrepreneurs keep proper accounting and financial records which can be presented for financing and investment opportunities.”
The program will also help to fill problematic gaps that SME’s have been experiencing in their day today operations, owing the the fact that it has been launched in Uganda, which is representative of the East Africa Venture Capital Association, a view shared by Doris Olwe. It should be noted that many ventures in the informal sector in Uganda have in the past two years collapsed due a mixture of negative effects of Covid-19 and poor managerial skills. Therefore, efforts to train SME’s are likely to boost the growth and sustainability of Uganda’s formal sector.
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