As a response to the global spread of COVID-19, at the end of March 2020, the Government of Uganda announced a school closure, and slapped a nationwide lockdown, a containment measure that crippled businesses especially the Small and Medium Enterprises.
With the lifting of the lockdown, many SMEs are trying to recover but some have been crippled by lack of enough finances.
In regards to this, the minister of State for Trade, Harriet Ntabazi has challenged the MSMEs to make use of the small business recovery funds availed by government.
She said there are funds in the Uganda Development Bank curated for SMEs.
She said SMEs in Uganda are held highly because they contribute 90% of the private sector production and play a critical role in income-generating activities for low-income earners.
The minister made the remarks at the MSME Expo, organized by the Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises-Uganda, in partnership with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, CSBAG, SEATINI, Postbank, Bella Wine and Uganda Investment Authority.
The expo is celebrating the innovation and contribution of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Uganda to the country’s economic development.
Meanwhile, John Walugembe, the executive director of the Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Uganda(FSME) said it is time for SMEs to start thinking about recovery, adding that experts have spent a year talking about the impact of Covid-19.
He said they are chatting with the SMEs on the path to recovery, and how some challenges like access to market can be solved.
We want SMEs to appreciate that they have to approach, willing and committed, most of them to focus a lot on money
Recently, the Uganda Development Bank revealed that it plans to spend 612 billion Shillings on the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.
UDB says the funds target enterprises in Primary Agriculture, Manufacturing, Tourism, Agro-processing and Human-Capital Development and Infrastructure including ICT.
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