KAMPALA – In a bid to support female-led micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) protect their innovations through trademarking, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) & Grooming a Successful Woman with Intellectual Mind (GSWIM) have organized a series of national workshops for women entrepreneurs.
Today, the three partners handed over trademark certificates to a group of over 20 entrepreneurs who completed a two-day training under the theme ‘Intellectual Property for Branding & Product Development- Trademarks Launching, Sharing Experiences and Lessons Learned’.
The training focused on arming participants with the knowledge and information needed to develop their business ideas into concrete plans, in addition to registering and trademarking their businesses. Participants also received personalized coaching on branding, product development and guidance on how to position their businesses for the market.
Speaking at the workshop, Duong Chi Dung, Director, Division for the Least Developed Countries, WIPO tasked the women entrepreneurs to position their businesses to reap opportunities presented by the global demand for quality goods from protected entities.
He reiterated the commitment of WIPO to support training of more budding female entrepreneurs.
“WIPO will assist female-led businesses to use intellectual property to become more innovative and enhance their productive capacity and competitiveness. We plan on more such trainings to support skills development,” Duong Chi added.
Caroline Matovu, a Ugandan entrepreneur and alumni of a previous capacity-building WIPO project, was particularly recognized for creating a new detergent brand in her backyard to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Head, Chattels Registry at URSB, Stellah Kakwezi Olimi who represented the Registrar General, thanked the partners for looking out for women entrepreneurs who contribute a sizeable percentage to the national economic activity.
“URSB has a strategic vision to support the identification, registration, nurturing, protection and commercialization of women-led business. In March 2021, in partnership with the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Association Limited (UWEAL), we launched the Women in Business (WiB) Club to enhance the competitiveness of female-owned entities. The 2019 MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) ranks Uganda first in Africa at 38.2% of total business owners. The Trademark certificates we are handing over to women entrepreneurs is proof of the ingenuity of women to start and protect their innovations. We thank you for being the shining stars of entrepreneurship,” she said.
On his part, James Wasula, the Chairman of GSWIM said the workshop was organized to celebrate mentorship and the accompanying success stories gained by women entrepreneurs.
“My advice to women entrepreneurs is to look out for niche areas that can be exploited. If any idea crosses your mind, take a moment and scribble it down. When you settle down, just think of how that idea can be further developed into a product or a service. The mentorship you received in these workshops is meant to offer you the skills to make money out of your ideas while growing your businesses,” Wasula said
The training offered participants the opportunity to exchange experiences and promote their products, discuss the benefits of intellectual property for entrepreneurs, how to build brands for enhanced market value, development and use of IP strategies, trademark and industrial design registration process among others.
The workshop targeted women entrepreneurs involved in sectors such as fashion and design, detergents, confectionery products, handcrafts, bottled beverages, cleaning services and beauty care products from across the country. Others were representatives of businesswomen associations, representatives of the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL) and the Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA).