UIA developing portal for small and medium firms

By David Muwanga

CAPTION: Mr. Muramira talking to the Bushenyi district Chairman Mr. Jafari Basajjabalaba. Seated are members of staff, Bushenyi District Local Government.

Mbarara, Uganda: Small and Medium enterprises in Uganda continue to face low survival rates due to the tough business environment worsened by the outbreak of the COVID-19.

This is one of the reasons why the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME), Innovation and Technology division of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is developing a National SME portal.

According to Mr. Nasser Yawe, the Investment Executive in the division, entrepreneurs will be able to access information and business development services provided by the Uganda Investment Authority.

He said the portal will also be linked to government departments, non-governmental organizations, development partners and the private sector among others.

“SME’s and the district commercial officers will play a critical role when the division embarks on the exercise of implementing the project,” he said at a meeting with the Mbarara district officials and investors in the Authority’s SME Park in Mbarara.

Mr. Yawe was part of the UIA Business Development team that monitored progress on investments in Mbarara, Ishaka and Bushenyi districts in the Western region.

He explained that the entrepreneurs will be required to provide information on their location, turnover, products and progress among others.

“In return, the portal will help us on traceability, how your business is progressing, help SMEs access credit through credit scores to qualify for funds,” he said adding that it will help SMEs to create business linkages and will make it easy for banks to release funds to SMEs.

Deputy Director for Investment Promotion and Business Development Peter Muramira pointed out that UIA has made it easier for both local and foreign investors to implement projects in Uganda.

“UIA established a One Stop Centre comprised of 16 government and private sector institutions under which an investor enters and leaves reassdy to go and start implementing the business project,”.

Bushenyi district LCV Chairman Jafari Basajjabalaba informed the delegation that they have secured Sh900 million for the development of tourist roads and construction of a tourist market along the Ishaka-Kabale road in Kyamuhunga subcounty