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Interested in training opportunities with the Stanbic Business Incubator? Incubator Business Manager Sheila Agaba highlights upcoming offerings

Incubator Business Manager

- Sheila Agaba
Business Manager, Stanbic Business Incubator

The Covid-19 Business Info Hub recently sat down with Sheila Agaba, the Stanbic Business Incubator’s Business Manager to discuss the many training opportunities on offer to small and medium enterprises and aspiring entrepreneurs.  

Ms. Agaba leads Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL)’s strategy, coordinates partnerships, and tracks SBIL’s impact. During her tenure, she has witnessed some of the pandemic’s major impacts on SBIL’s clients. She notes that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) struggled throughout the pandemic to access much-needed finance. Viewed as riskier investments by financial institutions, SMEs struggle to secure capital to develop their businesses. To address this challenge, SBIL has implemented various capacity-building trainings to help de-risk SMEs and improve their chances for access to credit.   

The Enterprise Development Programs – which have been rebranded as the Stanbic Accelerator Program, Micro enterprise Development Program and Supplier Development Program. These will have both in-person and online sessions and include both a local and regional focus. These sessions specifically target SMEs at a more intermediate stage of their business journey, such as those that can provide annual turnover reports and other business information. The local program largely supports businesses with the know-how to access capital and markets in the Kampala region. They were shifted fully online when Covid-19 struck for safety reasons. The Micro Enterprise Development Program provides similar support but operates at a national level and targets micro enterprises with 1-2 staff and an average annual turnover of 5M shillings.  

SBIL’s Supplier Development Program is largely geared toward those in the oil and gas industry. This program supports SMEs aiming to qualify as suppliers to larger companies engaged in drilling and other work across the Albertine region. The program supports SMEs to get registered to the national supplier database if not yet registered. This program will support linkages for the beneficiaries to the existing players in the oil camps in order for them to supply companies in drilling and oil and gas construction. This will be conducted with support from local oil companies in the industry. In addition, personal finance modules help SMEs with the necessary principals to arrange both personal and business financing. Similarly, SBIL arranges masterclasses post the trainings for alumni which are information-sharing sessions for about several topics relevant to business growth.  

SBIL’s program Implementation relies on financial support from Stanbic Bank, local and international partners This funding helps SBIL to deliver on the key pillars of access to  capital and market for SMEs. These programs facilitate SMEs develop new product lines, obtain new contracts, and expand into new markets and geographical regions. One of SBIL’s major partners is the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), which focuses on job creation specifically for women and youth. Their target is to create employment for nine hundred people annually through the GIZ partnership. The French Embassy in Uganda is another donor that focuses on supporting SMEs especially youth and women in agroecology and ecotourism. Similarly, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has partnered with SBIL through Petroleum Authority Uganda (PAU) to facilitate and train Business Development Services (BDS) to over 200 SMEs in various sectors along the EACOP route districts – a Ugandan area where the oil and gas pipeline will pass before entering Tanzania. All told, these partnerships have yielded a significant increase in SMEs’ access to funding. 27% of unbanked SMEs engaged in the programs have opened accounts with Stanbic Bank while 15% have begun access credit from Stanbic Bank. 35% have improved their tax compliance – allowing access to more markets and proving an early victory for SBIL’s international partners.  

With pandemic lockdowns coming to an end, Stanbic Business Incubator is now looking to the future and how it can keep serving the business community. Ms. Agaba notes that the company is looking forward to expanding partnership opportunities while prioritizing sustainability. 

 

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