Female entrepreneurs in eastern region have been urged to add value to their products and create networks in order to discover new opportunities and market.
Ms Victoria Byenkya, the manager for Women in Business from dfcu Bank, said in order for female entrepreneurs to grow, they need to add value to their products.
“Women entrepreneurs should endeavour to be creative so that they can appeal to a wide range of people,” Ms Byenkya said.
She was speaking during a two-day training organised by Nation Media Group (NMG), through Daily Monitor newspaper, in partnership with dfcu Bank and the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), at Kayegi Hotel in Mbale Town on Wednesday.
The training, organised under the ‘Rising Woman’ initiative, attracted about 300 businesswomen from different districts in the region.
The initiative, which started in 2018, is meant to recognise, celebrate and promote a culture of mentorship among business women communities in the country. It seeks to aspire women entrepreneurs to scale up the heights in chosen enterprises. Ms Byenkya said women still have a negative mindset about joining business. “There is still a limitation because women still think that business is a man’s world,” she said, adding that lack of accessibility to financial support has also worsened the situation.
“Women have a phobia to seek money from banks because of huge requirements to access loans yet they lack collateral security,” Ms Byenkya said.
She revealed that dfcu Bank has introduced a programme where women can write business proposals and those with the best ideas will win cash to inject into their businesses and also qualify for a trip to Nairobi to acquire more business skills.
Access to finance
Mr Lesle Mutumba, the investment executive Small Scale Enterprise at UIA, reiterated that lack access to finances among women in small scale businesses needs to be addressed.
“There is a need for concerted effort between the government and banks to see that women businesses access loans at affordable and friendly interests,” he said.
He also called upon the women to formalise their businesses in order to widen their markets. Mr Edward Mulumba from UIA urged women to embrace the culture of record keeping in their businesses.
“Record keeping is the strongest pillar of any business and it’ is something small scale business people take for granted,” he said.
He has also urged women to embrace the use of new technologies such as social media to market their businesses.
Mr David Jonathan Ssentongo, the brand executive from NMG, said as a company, they are committed to giving a platform to women entrepreneurs to better their lives.
Mr Betty Muduwa Mutama, one of women entrepreneurs applauded the organisers for the training.