Investment Authority, Business stakeholders launch National SME Business Portal
By Evans Najuna
KAMPALA – Some of greatest challenges affecting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Uganda have been; the struggle to access markets, to connect and tap into business information and market intelligent.
However, as we report the Uganda investment Authority (UIA) together with Business stakeholders have come up with the long lasting solution as they launched National SME Portal. Talking of this, an online business Portal called ‘mybusiness.go.ug’ was on Friday launched at Sheraton hotel in Kampala.
In his submission, as part of stakeholders, Ibrahim Ssenyonga who represented MTN and head of business, revealed that, as strategic partners, government made a call and they had to come onboard.
He acknowledged that, it is very critical to understand for SMEs that MTN had digitised payments in this. And they believe that for these SMEs to grow, they need scalability, visibility to sale their produce beyond their local Districts, beyond countries and beyond the content, “For that support, as MTN we are providing”, Ssenyonga said. Ssenyonga added that, they are providing capabilities in terms of connectivity.
He informed the public that, MTN has a fibre footprint of 9500km which is massive for aiding connectivity. Adding that their continuous visibility of SMEs are onboard. “We have over 7000 buildings across Kampala that are connected to fibre and some of them are mult-tenants, so we enable them to access Uganda investment portal” Ssenyonga explained.
He attributed this partnership as very critical for them, but also noted that MTN has over 18m subscribers and many of whom are SMEs which needs a formidable address.
Earlier before launching the portal, the State Minister for finance incharge privatisation and investment, Hon. Evelyn Anity Kajik, applauded government for this initiative in trying to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) especially those in value addition.
Anity said, it was the vision of the president HE. Yoweri Museveni who decided to create the whole Bank for Ugandans who in Agro-business, Manufacturing, services and ICT sector most especially after the COVID-19 effect, So as to enable Ugandans into affordable and long-term credit with lower interest rate.
Minister Anity was optimistic that, this portal will reduce tendencies of Red tep and corruption tendencies. Adding that with this online portal, all services provided and done online, in addition to accessibility of markets. And conclusively, all Ugandans will be able to access credit from UDB, Post Bank Agricultural recovery fund efficiency.
She however emphasised the need for more publicity and marketing giving an example of MTN with it’s continuous publicity despite having a high number of subscribers.
The National SME Portal launch was attended by, USAID representative, Stakeholders from private sector, government officials from agencies and MDAs.
Uganda has an extensive MSME2 sector that accounts for approximately 90% of the private sector, over 80% of manufactured output and contributes about 75% to the GDP. Out of an estimated 980,000 enterprises, an estimated 84% fall under micro category.