KAMPALA – PostBank Uganda, a government financial institution that is committed to transforming lives and livelihoods has on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding – MoU with the Federation for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (FSME) in which the bank has committed Shs 80 million towards value addition and financial literacy trainings for SMEs.
The bank has announced its flagship CSR activity for the year 2022 that will be headlined under the Bank’s Financial Literacy and Skills Enhancement pillar.
The CSR activity will be conducted in partnership with FSME under the theme Yongela Ko Omutindo, aimed at equipping SMEs countrywide with value addition and financial literacy skills.
“This year we decided to focus on our financial literacy and skills enhancement pillar, because of the many disruptions in the SME space. These disruptions were influenced by recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and rise in the price of commodities among other related challenges. SMEs are critical to the growth of Uganda’s economy; therefore, we chose to invest in their sustainability and growth,” said Julius Kakeeto, the Managing Director/CEO, PostBank Uganda.
Kakeeto asserted that, “We are a Bank that strongly believes in deepening social impact and generating value for all, hence our contribution of UGX. 80 million towards value addition trainings for SMEs. Today marks the start of an amazing journey with FSME, and I look forward to the many things we are yet to achieve together while empowering communities.”
The Bank, together with FSME, is set to train over 500 SMEs in select regions including Arua, Lira, Mbarara and Kampala. The trainings will be done by experienced trainers from FSME, and each training will run for 5 days.
John Walugembe, the Executive Director, FSME, revealed that each region will have a training specific to its challenges. “For Arua, the training will be in post-harvest handling and packaging of honey & honey products. Lira will focus on good manufacturing practices, hygiene, and mandatory product standards by UNBS. Mbarara training will be on hygienic and quality milk production and diversification in dairy products and finally Kampala will be on quality, safe and value-added opportunities for farmer groups and mid-sized fruit dealers.”
Walugembe added that about 11% of SMEs closed as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns while over 20% sold off their household assets. He thanked PostBank for realizing the gap and coming onboard to address the many issues SMEs face. “This partnership with PostBank will go a long way in reviving SMEs for their development.”
The SMEs will train in entrepreneurship & value addition, financial literacy & investment readiness, how to access appropriate technologies, product certification, branding and market linkages, to mention but a few. All participants will be awarded certificates at the end of the training.
PostBank has five CSR pillars that include Social Enterprise Development, Health, Education & Sports, Environment and Financial Literacy & Skills Enhancement. This year’s pillar: Financial Literacy & Skills Enhancement is intended at generating value for SMEs across the country.