Govt has enough money, apply for loans, says Minister Kasolo

Ocici speaks during the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Kampala. Photo / File 

What you need to know:

  • Minister Kasolo says facilities such as Micro and Small Enterprises Recovery Fund, Emyoga, PDM and Uganda Development Bank loan packages have been made available to finance small businesses 

State Minister for Microfinance Haruna Kasolo, has said entrepreneurs no longer need collateral to apply for low cost loans in Uganda. 

Speaking during celebrations to mark Global Entrepreneurship Week, Mr Kasolo said anyone with a dream just needs to join hands with like-minded people to apply for cheap credit, which has an interest rate as low as 10 percent per annum. 

For instance, he said, Micro and Small Enterprises Recovery Fund under Bank of Uganda, which was launched in February 2022, has the capacity to facilitate 50,000 medium and small enterprises to access funding. 

“This facility, with others such as Emyoga, Parish Development Model and Uganda Development Bank loan packages, are meant to jumpstart the economy to secure and create jobs,” he said.

Bank of Uganda data noted that the Small Business Recovery Fund, which performed dismally in its first year of implementation due to stringent requirements, recorded a massive turnaround with applications rising from 305 to 1,129, for which Shs10.4b was disbursed in the year ended June 2023 .  

Mr Charles Ocici, the executive director of Enterprise Uganda, which hosted the Global Entrepreneurship Week, said for a business to succeed, it must be strategic by retaining clients. 

“You have to structure your business in such a way that it harnesses opportunities that bring in funds to ensure survival. Such opportunities exist for those with eyes that can see beyond short term solutions to problems,” he said.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is celebrated between November 13 and 19 brings entrepreneurs together through local, national, and global platforms to create solutions for economic and business growth. 

Mr Paul Wilson, the US-based Russell Innovation Centre vice president, said entrepreneurs must be aware of health challenges as they pursue wealth, noting that a recent study had indicated that more than 70 percent of entrepreneurs suffer from mental health issues. 

“Even as you strive to make money, ensure that you take good care of your health lest you fail to enjoy the fruits of your sweat, he said.

Ms Sandra Letio, a director at Pelere Group, said, local entrepreneurs must find like-minded people from whom to gain counsel and support as they embark on the journey, adding that it can get very lonely. 

Ms Mary Odongo, the Enterprise Uganda director finance and administration, said the Global Entrepreneurship Week is one of the biggest and most productive platforms where entrepreneurs can share ideas about seizing the vast business opportunities, dealing with the challenges before them and ensuring that their ventures survive for generations.