Ugandans consuming profits from their businesses, experts say

A retailer on Main Street, Jinja City, attends to her business recently. PHOTO/DENIS EDEMA

What you need to know:

  • Mr Charles Ocici, Executive Director of Enterprise Uganda, emphasises that financial literacy is crucial for business owners to make informed decisions and secure long-term economic stability.

Local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy, but many struggle to survive due to a lack of financial literacy. Experts warn that without proper financial management, these businesses are doomed to fail, despite their potential for growth.

Mr Charles Ocici, Executive Director of Enterprise Uganda, emphasises that financial literacy is crucial for business owners to make informed decisions and secure long-term economic stability.

"Most Ugandans operating SMEs view profits as an achievement rather than a resource to be reinvested. They spend their profits without realizing that reinvesting capital is key to scaling their businesses," he notes.

Speaking to this publication at the commencement of an 8-week financial literacy program by the Financial Diet on Sunday, Mr Ocici shared a poignant example: "If you spend Shs10,000 without reinvesting it, you may be killing a project that could yield billions in three years."

He urges business owners to prioritize financial literacy, which he believes is essential for everyone, regardless of their financial status.

“Financial literacy matters to everybody; it can be learned by everybody, and it is a challenge to everybody. Never underestimate yourself. Even when you feel that you have mastered it, sleep with one eye open and remain alert. When you become a successful businessman, a bank is going to approach you to offer you a loan; one question then arises: do you need a loan?” he asked.

Ms Barbara Kyobutungi, Director of Financial Diet, echoes Ocici's sentiments.

"Poverty begins with not knowing how to manage your money. We want people to be informed and make informed decisions about managing their finances, regardless of the amount they make," she says.

Ms Kyobutungi also stresses the importance of customer satisfaction, urging business owners to recognize the value of their customers.

"A happy customer will always come back if what you sold them meets their expectations," she says.