KCB Bank Uganda has sponsored thirty local entrepreneurs for an international trip to Germany and Turkey in an effort to support growth of the SME sector in the country.
The bank sent its Business Club members for a 10-day trip that will see the SMEs network with a wider international market as well as provide business linkages for suppliers of goods and services.
Speaking during the flag off, Joram Kiarie, the Managing Director KCB Bank Uganda noted: “At KCB Bank Uganda, we are aware that one of the biggest challenges that our local SMEs face is creating valuable linkages to enhance their businesses, this trip is a step towards facilitating our customers to make these linkages.”
The trip will include visits to construction factories with modern cost saving technology in Germany, firms that sell heavy construction machinery in Ulm, modern health facility installations and medical equipment manufacturing companies, the BMW museum as well as have business-to-business meeting with the Turkish business community to create linkages.
“We are keen to empower and nurture the growth of our home-grown businesses, such business trips are platforms to empower our SMEs as they interact with experts from various sectors” noted Kiarie.
According to statistics, trade volumes between Turkey and Uganda amounted to US$27 million during the first 10 months of 2017. Turkey’s main export products to Uganda are cereals, electronic equipment and rubber while Uganda’s mainly imports machinery and chemical products from Germany.
The Germany Ambassador Dr. Albrecht Conze noted that the trip will help the new generation of entrepreneurs in Uganda to grow their businesses.
“The backbone of German industry is the family businesses, which is the same for Uganda; this is an opportunity for KCB SMEs to learn how to go further, as well as make contacts for opportunities to resell machinery,” Ambassador Conze said.
Charles Ogwel, the Managing Director UMCAT, one of the SMEs benefitting from the trip said: “Germany is known for quality, I hope to improve the quality of the machines in my business, network and make linkages to strengthen my business, I also hope to learn modern ways of doing business.”
The SME sector employs the largest number of people in Uganda and according to Uganda Investment Authority, over 2.5 million people are employed in this sector, where they account for approximately 90% of the entire private sector, generating over 80% of manufactured output.