Reports by organizations such as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) have in recent years ranked Uganda amongst the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. But most of the startups do not stay long on the business scene.
Some of the reasons for the high mortality rate of business startups are lack of financing and poor management. With the disruptions caused by the Covid19 pandemic, the resilience of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) was put to a great test, making the need for support to these businesses even more urgent.
It is against this background that University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, has partnered with Imuka Access in collaboration with Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC), and East Africa Venture Capital Association (EAVCA) to put together the Accounting and Financial Management Systems Program, a three-month initiative for high-growth businesses.
Business experts from University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, Imuka Access and other partners are well aware of the limited financing and investments in SMEs in the country, which are partly caused by the informal nature of many business operations, lack of knowledge of, and relevant documentation due to poor accounting and financial management practices amongst SMEs.
The above factors are also responsible for the high business mortality rate amongst Ugandan SMEs.
This training program is a must-attend for Ugandan SMEs because experts from partner organizations will over the course of three months support the future growth, development and access to finance opportunities of participating businesses. Companies and their staff will also be offered hands-on training on accounting and financial management best practices.
The program will support up to 150 SMEs that have already created more than 10 full-time jobs to become more attractive to financing. These select enterprises will also be helped to attain sustainable growth so that they can create more jobs.
The other interesting aspect of this training program is that there will be dedicated personalized training, coaching the implementation and adoption of accounting and financial management practices by a highly trained external professional financial expert over the period of three months.
By the end of the program, program participants are expected to have gain a deeper understanding of costing methodologies, financial record keeping best practices and budgeting as well as financial planning techniques among other valuable business skills.
In addition, participating SMEs will be supported to submit application forms for financing with standard criteria that will be evaluated by potential capital providers and investors.