THE INDUSTRIAL WORK SPACES FOR SMALL & MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
In today’s rapidly growing and dynamic competitive global economy, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have increasingly become a powerful engine for economic growth and development. In fact, developing countries are now widely encouraged to support SMEs in their development and catch-up strategies, since SMEs as the likely drivers of job creation, innovations and creation of new products and services in these economies. Uganda has an extensive Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector which accounts for approximately 90% of the entire Private Sector, over 80% of manufactured output and contributes about 18% to the Gross Domestic Product. The sector employs more than 2.5 million people, which makes it one of the largest employers in the country.
However most SME businesses operate informally in the back yards, illegally occupied vacant government land, road reserves, garages etc. The fact that these businesses are operating in informal conditions perpetuate the presumption that their products & services are inferior. This therefore leads to losses in potential income as most customers decline to buy their products and worse still supermarkets are not willing to put products from such SMEs in their stalls.
What is Uganda Investment Authority doing?
UIA will construct 1000 industrial work spaces to provide low cost work spaces, common facilities centres, business support services, training centre, and market exhibitions centres. The industrial workspaces will be an ideal ecosystem to provide all the services that small scale industrial enterprises in a cluster require. The facility will assist domestic investors and small scale industrialists in manufacturing businesses and help them to survive during the start-up period when they are most vulnerable. In addition to dedicated and affordable workspaces, common facilities, and equipment as well as legal, financial, advisory and informative services will be provided at the parks.
The workspaces will be 50, 70 and 100 square metres dimensions. Sectors prioritised are: agro- processing, leather crafts and tanning, carpentry and woodworks, handicrafts and basketry, textiles, garments and apparel.
Why work spaces?
- Placing companies side by side in order to ensure cost-effective management and consultation
- Access to professional training for the current and future market needs
- Professional accounting and legal services
- Collective purchase of services and products, such as production materials, furniture and equipment.
- Eases transfer of technology
- New opportunities for the development of companies through joint ventures.
- Shared services including: seminar rooms, equipment, internet cables, accountancy, audiovisual equipment, transport, reception and issuance of goods
- 1000 decent industrial work spaces established for use by SMEs
- About 15,000 direct and indirect jobs created
- At least 500 new SME businesses formalized and 300 new products certified for markets