Govt seeks to link 750,000 SMEs to international market

Monday April 05 2021
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The profiling, which started in November last year, seeks to create linkages for local SMEs with international companies that import goods from Uganda. Photo | File

By Tom Brian Angurini

Government, through Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has profiled 750,000 small and medium enterprises with the view of linking them to international markets.

The profiling, which started in November last year, seeks to create linkages for local SMEs with international companies that import goods from Uganda.  

It also seeks to find ways through which SMEs can improve standards as well as nurturing such entities into large scale businesses.

Speaking during the launch of the First Kampala Impact Day, which showcases SMEs and their potential, Mr Paul Kyalimpa, the UIA deputy director general, said by profiling SMEs, UIA was seeking to make them achieve quality as well as certification of their products to meet international standards.

“We are incubating them through Uganda Industrial Research Institute to meet certain levels that are required by international firms,” he said.

SMEs in Uganda continue to suffer a number of challenges, among which, include lack of market, low access to capital and poor standards.
 
However, Mr Kyalimpa said it was time SMEs are put on the national data base were they would interact with development partners and international companies with the view of understanding who they are and what they produce.

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At least SMEs comprise 80 per cent of Uganda’s economy, which Mr Kyalimpa said must not be ignored but assisted into growing into large scale businesses.

Ms Wnnie Lawoko-Olwe, the UIA director SMEs, said small and medium enterprises remain Uganda’s engine of growth, spread across all sectors with 49 per cent in service sector, 33 per cent in commerce and trade while 10 per cent are in manufacturing.
 
“SMEs are spread throughout the country and they remain the key drivers in fostering innovation, wealth creation and job creation in Uganda,” she said, noting that more than 2.5 million people are employed by SMEs, where they account for approximately 90 per cent of the entire private sector, generating more than 80 per cent of manufactured output.

tangurini@ug.nationmedia.com

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