Its okay to sell stake in business in search of capital, says PSFU

Ms Damali Ssali (centre) and Ms Meralyn Mungereza, the Mastercard Foundation country programme head, chat during a courtesy visit at the Newman Foods factory in Nakawuka, Wakiso District yesterday. Photo / Courtesy 

What you need to know:

  • According to Ms Damali Ssali, it is better to own a smaller percentage of a very big company than own a big percentage of a small company 

Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) has said entrepreneurs should get in the habit of selling a part of their businesses to obtain capital for investment and expansion. 

Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Newman Foods factory in Nakawuka, Wakiso District, yesterday, Ms Damali Ssali, the PSFU chief of programmes and projects officer, said whereas progress  has been made and success tested, local businesses still face governance and mind-set issues, which have made some make bad business decisions.  

“For example, some business founders don’t want to sell part of their companies as way of sourcing capital. I strongly believe it is better to own a smaller percentage of a very big company than own a big percentage of a small company,” she said, noting PSFU would stop at nothing to empower local businesses. 

Newman Foods, a food processing company is among the 36 companies benefiting from PSFU’s Lead Firm Structure programme, which is implemented in partnership with Mastercard Foundation and seeks to mitigate unemployment among youth. 

Ms Ssali noted that Uganda’s food processing sub-sector continues to exhibit a lot of opportunities, which local companies must tap into.  

“We want small companies to expand and scale their operations. We supported Newman to grow the number of out growers. We built farmers’ capacity to grow chili, tomatoes and bananas, which they supply here,” she said. 

Ms Rosette Najjemba Segujja, the Newman Foods commercial director, said the company, which begun in 2017 in a rented house, has grown with the support of PSFU to provide at least 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

“We thought we did not stand a chance because we were working in a garage. But we shared our story and PSFU gave us a chance. They loved the speed at which we had grown without any financing. Most banks had denied us loans because we had no collateral,” she said.  

In March 2018, Mastercard Foundation launched the Young Africa Works strategy in which it seeks to create employment for three million young people in Africa. Mastercard has implementing this strategy with PFSU.

While Uganda has one of the youngest populations globally with approximately 78 percent of its population under the age of 35 years, young people are still largely marginalized, specifically when it comes to participating and contributing to decision-making in society.