A total of 700 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have completed three months of training in financial literacy, business planning, contracts and bid management courtesy of Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL).

The SMEs, which were awarded with certificates in enterprise development, were drawn from a wide range of sectors including oil and gas, transport, renewable energy, hospitality, agribusiness, and manufacturing.

The SMEs were selected after a competitive application process that got entries from Kampala and across eight districts from eastern, western and northern Uganda.

The training was conducted under the Enterprise Development Program (EDP), which is SBIL’s flagship programme aimed at enhancing local SMEs’ capacity building for business resilience and sustainability.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at the company’s head offices in Kampala at the weekend, Tony Otoa, the Chief Executive SBIL, said: “I know everyone is asking what next? Well, I can assure you that we are committed to continued on-site mentorship and follow-up of graduates’ businesses. This is all to ensure business survival. We are going to work even harder to ensure that these businesses thrive, create more job opportunities, and drive Uganda’s growth—-our purpose as Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited.”

Speaking as Chief Guest, celebrated entrepreneur and Chairman Simba Group, Patrick Bitature called on entrepreneurs to be committed to a patient process of gradually building their businesses brick by brick.

“Knowledge is power. And today, you leave, equipped with the knowledge to successfully run your business. Use it. It is not enough to have the knowledge, applying it is everything,” he said

Andrew Mashanda, the Chief Executive, SUHL said, education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. “Our Enterprise Development Program is a critical weapon in the Incubator’s arsenal aimed at realising economic growth and pushing Uganda to a middle-income economy.

The oil and gas sector provided an opportunity of a lifetime, and that opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the time of the opportunity,” Mashanda added. The training was conducted through a customised online learning management system and involved self-study for enhanced and more effective learning.

Founded in 2018, SBIL has since trained 3,234 Ugandan entrepreneurs attached to 2,007 SMEs.