Join cooperatives, minister advises small-scale traders

Minister of Trade Amelia Kyambadde (C) looks at some of the crafts made by women under the ‘Made in Uganda’ campaign. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE

Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde has advised Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to form cooperatives to access markets and micro-financing in order to exploit the business opportunities in the region.

While officiating at the launch of the ‘KCB Made in Uganda’ enterprise development training programme, Ms Kyambadde said her ministry was ready to register the cooperatives and offer linkages to financial assistance. “Access to credit is easier if the small and medium enterprises are organised in form of cooperatives,” she said.

The minister made the appeal attributing the low entrepreneurship development in the country to lack of business management skills among the majority of the small industrialists which she said is affecting the transformation of smaller businesses.

She added that cooperatives are the only way to evade stringent lending conditions from commercial banks as it reduces the risk for the banks.

The KCB Made in Uganda programme is a partnership between the bank and the Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) to impart enterprise skills that will see over 260 disadvantaged rural and urban cottage industry entrepreneurs acquire skills to run their enterprises better.

The skills trainings which are aimed at boosting the “Made in Uganda brand” are targeting selected small scale entrepreneurs particularly the youth and women with cottage industry skills to enable them start or run existing businesses to produce local products.

“There is need to develop small, medium and the cottage industry as these contribute to growth of the economy in terms of employing the youth, women and nurturing a new crop of entrepreneurs in Uganda,” Mr Samwiri Njuki, the KCB Uganda chairman said.

While launching the project, the managing director, Mr Albert Odongo, said it will develop job and entrepreneurship-related competencies, through offering cottage industry training to disadvantaged small-scale entrepreneurs.

The project seeks to promote locally produced products,”Mr Odongo said.
Altogether, 10 cottage industry training workshops will be held across the country.
The partnership has seen more 60 cottage industry workers trained Ndeeba, Luzira and Kalitunsi.

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