KAMPALA — The Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL) and the Embassy of France to Uganda have trained and extended grants to budding Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operators in the Agriculture and Tourism sectors.
The programme, tagged
Network for Innovation and Sustainability in Agriculture and Tourism (NISAT) is an innovative business training and education scheme, in collaboration with French Embassy and Stanbic Business Incubator Limited, an innovations arm of the Stanbic Holdings Limited.
The two-year project— mainly targeting the youth 18 to 35 and women of all ages —seeks to foster entrepreneurship in Agro-ecology and eco-tourism in Uganda for a total amount of UGX 1,885,500,000.
“This project is aimed at supporting the sustainable development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the two selected sectors,” officials said during the pass out.
“We are committed to supporting SMEs by imparting skills ranging from compliance, corporate governance, and business planning and analysis to financial literacy and business ethics, among other things,” Mr. Tony Otoa, the Chief Executive of the Stanbic Business Incubator,
said at the graduation ceremony in Kololo.
Uganda is presently the 14th most vulnerable country in the world to climate change, according to the World Bank latest figures.
Otoa said NISAT project seeks to focus on promoting environmental conservation in the agriculture and tourism sectors as a direction of economic development.
It has attracted over 120 SMEs over the past two years with the highest number being the youth.
Participants have been engaged in training, exposure visits and mentorship/coaching.
Yves Mercier, the Counselor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of France to Uganda, said the working relationship of France with the NISAT network both entities share common ideas in areas of economic development, innovations the promotion of youth and gender equality.
“These are the values that bring us together today. They are the foundation of the relationship we are building together,” Yves said.
The training program involved seven-modules that have proven to be overwhelmingly successful and some of the results include about 90% of beneficiaries getting connected to digital network platforms.
In turn, the program has been strengthened and become more self-sustaining by working jointly with 14 network leaders from which nine have become primary while the five are currently under mentorship.
Mugisha Eliot Junior of Rambura Safaris commended NISAT for assisting them in developing more entrepreneurial skills in the areas of social media marketing and strategic planning. This has helped them enhance their position at Young Uganda Tour Operations (YUTO), where they organize group trips to promote tourism in Uganda.
Several MSMEs have been helped to formalize their businesses which will put them in a better position to exploit more potentially lucrative opportunities.
So far, 19 companies have already been registered, but plenty more are in the process.