Compassionate Leadership for Entrepreneurs Series: Leading with Heart

ConsumerCentriX, in partnership with Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited (Stanbic Bank), kicked off the first webinar in its Compassionate Leadership for Entrepreneurs Series on November 4th, 2021, under the theme “Leading with Heart: Adapting to a New Normal in a Tough Business Environment.” The webinar explored how the bank and other key businesses in the market adapted to the current business climate given the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of using compassionate leadership as a business strategy.

The webinar was moderated by Maurice Mugisha, a Ugandan journalist and Managing Director of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, and the panel included Emma Mugisha, Executive Director and Head of Business Banking at Stanbic Bank, Dr. Peter Kimbowa, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Thadeus Musoke Nagenda, Ag. Chairman of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), and Isaac Nsereko, Managing Director of RI Distributors Ltd.

Leading with compassion in a crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda has led to waves of lockdowns and business closures, making it impossible for businesses to continue day-to-day operations as usual. The disruptions have heavily affected decision-making, employee management, and the bottom line for businesses. All of the panelists agreed that leading with compassion during these extraordinary times has been essential. For them, this has meant listening to their employees and the concerns of their customer base, challenging the assumptions behind their convictions, and being ready to adapt to a constantly changing environment.

In the case of Stanbic Bank, leaders needed to adapt quickly to the crisis. When public transportation shut down, they had to find ways to transport their staff to branches. The bank had to adjust working hours to better fit customer and employee needs and implement changes so staff could work from home comfortably.  For branch staff who may have been exposed to the virus, the bank created isolation centers to help employees protect their family members from potential exposure.  As the pandemic dragged on, Emma Mugisha explained that Stanbic Bank has started to see an increase in customers defaulting on their loan payments. The bank has “put in place repayment extensions to relieve the customers who were affected by the pandemic,” said Mrs. Mugisha. Compassionate leadership teaches leaders to be empathetic and understand the challenges faced by their community. Loan repayment extensions not only benefit the bank’s customers, but also help the bank avoid mass default.

Dr. Kimbowa highlighted that at NSSF, the largest social security fund in Uganda, it was key to have a store of reserves, respond quickly to customer needs, and preserve the company’s workforce. NSSF launched a leadership ‘Think Box’ in order to tackle the biggest challenges, particularly how to avoid layoffs and keep employees fulfilled while working from home. Dr. Kimbowa is proud of the results of these efforts – NSFF largely retained its staff and reminds others that “firing people during hard times is in itself an admission of failed imagination [for leadership].”

RI Distributors, one of the largest logistics trading companies in Uganda, has had to make significant changes to its supply chains as a result of the pandemic. Mr. Nsereko explained that a key priority for the business was keeping its drivers healthy, happy, and employed. First, RI Distributors divested long-term projects and focused on ramping up COVID-19 testing stations for their drivers. The business also hired more drivers so to ensure adherence to safer social distancing policies through a more flexible driver rotation schedule. Mr. Nsereko said; “I think it’s compassionate leadership that knows the business will [have the opportunity to focus on making] money in the future and chooses to look after their people now, in a sustainable way, in order to stay in business.”

KACITA is the largest trader block in Kampala, and during the lockdowns most of the arcades, shopping malls, its businesses operate out of were closed. “When COVID hit, many of the members of the business community started selling their goods out of the back of their cars,” said Mr. Nagenda. KACITA has provided supplies, food, and funding for business owners, but more importantly, asked for a moratorium on rent for business owners. They also approached the government and advocated for reopening of arcades so that its business owners could continue doing business and making a living. KACITA focused on alleviating the monetary stresses that its small business owners faced. KACITA was successful in negotiations with some landlords, who eventually allowed traders to defer rent payments.

Lessons learned

To close out the webinar, panelists were asked to share lessons learned through their use of compassionate leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. A few key themes emerged from the discussion:

  • Work together. As business leaders, it’s important to share best practices and ask others to join in utilizing compassionate leadership. If more business leaders share their knowledge on how to listen to employees and customers, challenge assumptions, and adapt quickly in a changing environment like adjusting work hours to better fit customer needs or creating a “Think Box” for leaders to tackle the biggest challenges, then institutions will improve, and the economy will be strengthened. It’s essential to work together to solve challenges and find sustainable solutions. In the case of KACITA, Mr. Nagenda said that “most of the [arcade] landlords are also traders and part of KACITA. We realized as the business community that we can work together to find solutions.”
  • Adapting to change is imperative. Leaders should approach challenges as opportunities to shift their ways of working. The pandemic forced many sectors to embrace change through digitization, whether that included investing in ways for their staff to work from home or making loans available to more customers through mobile banking. Mrs. Mugisha mentioned that “it should be normal to have your video on and hold your baby,” stressing the importance of embracing flexible work structures for parents. Focusing on the mission of the business instead of the structure allows businesses to adapt to a new normal.
  • Trust is essential. The most valuable component of an institution is its people. A leader must build and maintain trust with employees in order to make compassionate leadership sustainable. When suppliers cut off credit lines, RI Distributors focused on preserving the business through adapting their supply chain lines and establishing trust with their truck drivers by launching a number of key safety measures – which helped retain our drivers to stay on track and mitigate business loss. Businesses that build trust with their employees, customer base, and suppliers are resilient.
  • Continue to Innovate. As institutions and leaders’ transition, adjust and recover from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to remain curious and willing to adapt to new business innovative solutions. Continued disruption can make it really difficult to make a concrete plan for the future, but it can lead a company to develop better practices. Continue to assess your beliefs and processes and make sure not to revert back to ineffective ways of working.

Compassionate leadership is essential in building resilient companies that survive in the face of adversity. The health and wellbeing of employees and clients should continue to be a priority for leaders in order to build a stronger and brighter future. Join Stanbic Bank for the next installment of the series that is expected to return in the first quarter of 2021.

.


Trouble understanding tax compliance and want to know where to start? David Rusoke and the Ugandan Revenue Authority are here to answer your pressing questions

Understanding tax compliance

When it comes to tax compliance, businesses should acquaint themselves with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), an organization created by the Constitution of Uganda to collect taxes on behalf of government and consolidate those funds so the government can fulfill its mandate each year. The COVID-19 Business Info Hub sat down with David Rusoke, a team lead for tax literacy in the domestic tax department at URA, who works to “enlighten people on tax matters, their tax obligations and information that will enable them make informed decisions about the subject.” David helped us understand the ins-and-outs of tax compliance and how businesses can navigate Uganda’s tax compliance framework.

In simple terms, tax compliance is making sure that a business fulfills its tax obligations as outlined by the URA, which administers laws such as the Income Tax Act and the Value Added Tax Act, among others. The URA is responsible for collecting taxes stipulated under these laws – including the Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Employment Tax; both of which are critical to the operation of tax compliant businesses.

Fulfilling tax obligations starts with obtaining a TIN

To fulfill tax obligations, businesses start by obtaining a free, ten-digit Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), which is used to account for a business’ obligations as well as for other purposes such as obtaining an operating license. Once a business acquires a TIN, it is required to file annual tax returns and pay any taxes arising. Businesses become fully tax compliant once they pay any obligations after filing annual, bi-annual, quarterly, or monthly returns.

Businesses without a TIN may find their opportunities limited when it comes to partnering with other firms. Wherever you stand on the supply-line of the value chain, major players will require you to have a TIN so that they can fulfill their own tax compliance requirements. Ugandan law limits a business’ purchasing from businesses without TINs to 5M UGX. Purchasing any more than that creates a risk for larger businesses maintaining their own compliance. If a business is looking to work with the government, for instance, they’ll need to obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) to be eligible to engage with any government agencies. government agencies.

Next, it is important to understand the rights and obligations that apply to your specific business with regards to fulfilling tax obligations. While these are outlined in Uganda’s taxpayer charter, there are many details and nuances that exist. For instance, many goods are taxed at higher tax rates to discourage their consumption and can impose larger tax burdens on a business.

Where to turn for help

It’s important for business owners to ask the right questions about their tax obligations and understand how to navigate the system, and there are a few options if business owners need somewhere to turn for help.

David explains that the URA is ready and able to help business owners through various advisory services including training and information made available in person, via radio, through webinars,  toll free lines and a Whatsapp Chat, and even on YouTube. Business owners can also access the URA’s web portal at ura.go.ug to download PDF forms to fulfill requirements as well as a library of information that can help answer any questions.

Business owners can also consider hiring a tax consultant, but David highlights that it is important to ensure the consultant is URA-designated, as any liability for a faulty return will fall directly on the business owner. He also suggests that business owners learn to understand their tax obligations for themselves because they will benefit from having greater ownership of their compliance obligations. Keeping on top of your tax obligations requires careful bookkeeping, so business owners who do so are more often in tune with their business records and sales performance.

Business owners are encouraged to contact the URA directly with specific questions for which training or support are made available online via the URA’s site. Callers can access a toll-free line at 0800117000 or 0800217000 that is available until 11 pm for help. Alternatively, questions can be submitted through email at services@ura.go.ug. For those who prefer an in-person experience, the URA’s service centers are open for business owners to visit their offices.


Want an insider perspective on the importance of business compliance? Joel Bamwise of the Stanbic Business Incubator Limited walks us through the most critical aspects

Joel Bamwise, Program Manager at Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL)– a subsidiary of Stanbic Uganda Holding Limited that works to support SMEs in Uganda through training and mentoring programs –  explains that business compliance is the “art of following the laws, regulations and existing laws and regulations of a country” that govern business activities. Beyond that, business compliance also refers to “ethical practices that a normal business should be able to carry out,” such as safety compliance to protect a business’ employees.

While the business compliance process may seem daunting, Joel explains that there are some clear benefits to taking on the task. Most important comes when scaling up as a value chain supplier because any single entity requesting a business’ services will require they be in good standing with the governing authority under which they operate, says Joel.

As a business owner bids for new opportunities, they’ll be required to have a tax clearance certificate (click here for more information on this document). More importantly, being business compliant can help win the loyalty of a business’ staff by providing them with government-supported benefits such as For instance, employees of compliant businesses may obtain national social security fund (NSSF) clearance, which makes them eligible for retirement benefits and can, in turn make them, more loyal to their employer.

Remaining fully compliant allows business owners to easily track the growth of their business through a better picture of their incoming and outgoing revenues. Tracking incoming and outgoing revenues simplifies the planning process – which ultimately supports the business’ expansion.

Joel breaks down the compliance process into three clear steps. First, a business must be registered with the appropriate authority. Depending on the type of business being registered, this can be done through the Uganda Registration Services Bureau, the Uganda Co-operative Alliance or any local regulator that oversees business registrations. Next, the business must obtain any licenses necessary to operate within their given industry. This is largely dependent on your local business district. The Central Business District of Kampala, for instance, is overseen by the Kampala Capital City Authority, which issues trading licenses that permit business transactions. Lastly, the business must pay its respective taxes and dues by acquiring a tax identification number.

SBIL has been successful in guiding a variety of businesses to fulfill their compliance obligations and unlock many of these benefits. For starters, SBIL provides businesses with lessons, coaching, and mentoring to guide them through the compliance process. Businesses are provided with various masterclasses to help them develop a growth plan that takes advantage of the opportunities available for compliant businesses. Similarly, they have brought in industry regulators to provide real-world advice from industry officials on the best approach to improve their compliance. Incubator businesses will hear from URSB and URA officials while getting the opportunity to ask as many questions as they need to best understand the information from these regulatory bodies. These sessions are critical for dispelling any uncertainty and give businesses the confidence to succeed in their respective industries.

Businesses in need of support can choose from a series of different programs provided by SBIL such as the Kampala Enterprise Development Program,Network For Innovation and Sustainability in Agriculture and Tourism and the Regional Enterprise Development Program. To help in their development, businesses hear from regulatory leadership and receive the tools they require for them to register and have the compliance checks in place. In addition, participants will engage with partnered legal firms who provide expertise in enabling businesses to make the right decisions about their compliance needs.


Interested in registering your business but unsure of where to start? Provia Nangobi of the Uganda Registration Services Bureaus explains the business registration process 

Continuing our focus on the importance of business compliance, the COVID-19 Business Info Hub sat down with Provia Nangobi, Head of Public Relations and Corporate Affairs at Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), to understand the first step in keeping your business compliant – business registration. We asked Provia to walk us through the process for different types of businesses operating in the country and shed some light on where business owners can go for support.

Provia explained that the URSB is the government agency responsible for registering businesses and intellectual property rights such as trademarks, copyrights, and patents. In Uganda, a business can be registered either as a sole proprietorship under a business name, a company limited with shares or a company by guarantee akin to a not-for-profit organization. The difference is based mainly on the structure and the number of members of a business. Provia explained more about each of these options.

Sole proprietorships consist of a single person who wants to do business under a legal entity. These businesses are typically smaller in nature and consist of individuals seeking to trade and operate alone while expanding their businesses through credit, investment, and partnership opportunities that formalization affords them. To register a sole proprietorship with the URSB and receive a business certificate, business owners must submit an online form and pay a one-time registration fee of 24,000 UGX. Once those compliance requirements have been fulfilled, businesses are free to begin trading as officially recognized entities.

Registering a company – a process called ‘incorporation’ – is slightly more complex than registering as a sole proprietorship. Compared to sole proprietorships, companies have many more types, structures, and responsibilities, but they stand as distinct legal entities separate from their owners, which protects owners from the company’s legal liabilities. While companies are typically structured to involve multiple people, they can also be structured as ‘single-member” companies for people working independently. The most common companies registered by URSB, according to Provia, are private companies with shares distributed amongst multiple owners. Business owners can also register either a public company that sells stock and part of their shares to the public, unlimited companies, foreign companies or a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

Regardless of what type of company business owners register, there are more obligations to ensure full compliance when compared to registering as a sole proprietor. For instance, companies must indicate the total amount of starting capital, which is then used to determine the company’s incorporation fees. Fixed costs associated with incorporation include a 20,000 UGX name reservation and 40,000 UGX to submit two forms. Variable costs include the registration fee – totaling 1% of share capital – and the stamp duty – which has a cost of 0.5% of share capital, as well as a 135,000 UGX fixed fee. Once the incorporation fees are paid, a certificate of incorporation is issued as part of the initial filing process. At this point, companies must submit forms listing the names of their directors and secretary and their business location and provide a memorandum and article of associations outlining the company’s interests. After the registration is finalized and a certificate of incorporation is issued, the company goes into business.

For a company limited with shares, annual returns must be submitted every year to declare the status of operations along with a 50,000 UGX fee (30,000 UGX for companies limited by guarantee). Any changes to the company’s structure or directors must be declared on the form to keep the business registration up to date.

There are enormous benefits of formalizing businesses ranging from: 

  1. Enabling investors to invest in your business through official channels
  2. Supporting your participation in the bidding process for the provision of goods and services
  3. Better access to financial services (i.e., bank loans that are essential for business expansion)
  4. Enabling the company to enter into business partnerships and joint ventures more easily or to carry out mergers and takeovers
  5. Supporting business reputation, which leads to broader clientele and greater opportunities

URSB’s services don’t end at business registration – they also provide services for businesses in need of support. On the occasion that a business enters an insolvency and receivership function – which happens when a company is unable to meet its financial obligations and potentially enters a court-mandated process allowing creditors to recover funds from a business while allowing them to avoid bankruptcy.  The URSB provides services to help businesses strengthen their operations and attempt to revive the company. Suppose a company is unable to recover from its financial woes. In that case, the URSB also provides statutory procedures to shut down the business and the necessary steps to wind up its operations.

When asked why some businesses shy away from formal compliance, Provia suggested that misinformation stops people from registering. People are often confused about the costs, processes, or obligations required to fulfil standard compliance requirements. Some may think that it takes a long time, but it takes just 2 to 3 days for a certificate to be issued once all documents are submitted. Provia highlighted that consulting with business professionals such as business lawyers can help clarify any misconceptions while helping business owners build and develop their operations. More importantly, business owners can query the URSB directly by either a toll-free phone number (0 800 100 006), the official website (www.ursb.go.ug), or through the official WhatsApp number (0712 448448).


Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited and ConsumerCentriX to Launch Compassionate Leadership Series on 4th November 2021

Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited and ConsumerCentriX to Launch Compassionate Leadership Series on 4th November 2021

In partnership with ConsumerCentriX, Stanbic Bank is pleased to have the opportunity to introduce the Compassionate Leadership Public Engagement Series.

The Series will consist of three webinars featuring compassionate leaders and technical persons in our community, that will help us understand how they have effectively led their organizations and provide practical tools in overcoming the challenges brought by the pandemic.

The inaugural conversation, Leading with Heart – “adapting to a new normal in a tough business environment”, will be launched on 4th November 2021 at 2 pm and will be moderated by Maurice Mugisha, with Anne Juuko, Stanbic Bank CE, Dr Peter Kimbowa, Chairman Board of Directors NSSF, Thadeus Musoke Nagenda, Ag. Chairman KACITA, and Isaac Nsereko, Managing Director RI Distributors as panellists.

Don’t miss the opportunity to participate!

To register for the webinar, visit: Webinar Registration


How to network your way to building a robust business

If you want to build a robust business, it is important to get out there, make connections, and network with others. Business networking involves connecting with potential customers and other individuals who might refer business to you. It also means making contact with people who can provide key information that can help you grow your business and is based on creating trusting relationships with other businesspeople.

Networking helps you promote your business and can lead to new opportunities, both very important as business owners seek to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Of course, with the disruptions caused by the pandemic, which have meant fewer chances to meet others in person, there has been a shift to networking virtually, which can actually offer you more opportunities to build connections across borders.

Below are some key reasons why networking is important for your small business and tips on how to network well to achieve your business goals.

 

  1. Networking is a great way to acquire new business leads. Leveraging the contacts you make when you meet people can open doors for business opportunities. Always communicate professionally when you follow up on leads, be sensitive to timing (for example, send that email when you promised to), and use common courtesy when following up.

 

  1. Networking can help you to identify business best practices. Learning from what others do is a valuable strategy for all businesses. For example, suppose you own a wholesale store and belong to an association. Ask around to find programs that other members use for stock management or other critical operational tasks that you can bring back to your own business.

 

  1. Regular networking will help you build confidence. It will help you become more familiar with talking to people you don’t know over time, enhancing your communications skills and enabling you to make lasting connections that can bring both positive professional and personal results.

 

  1. Networking is a great way to make relevant connections. It will enable you to meet and engage with highly influential people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to talk to or find easily. You can call on these new connections for assistance when you need them. So be sure to ask the right questions to find out if the person you are networking with knows who you want to know.

Don’t wait until you have run out of opportunities to start networking. Be sure to start making these connections to expand the number of opportunities that come your way!


Struggling to manage Internet costs for your small business? Here are ways to optimize your Internet usage.

Due to the pandemic, many Ugandans are working remotely, and as a result, there is increased demand for Internet connectivity. However, increased demand has come alongside higher costs. On 1st July 2021, the government introduced a 12% excise duty on airtime, value-added services, and Internet data.

Internet service is an essential tool for improving competitiveness and efficiency, reaching customers, and interacting with vendors, and with the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become even more critical. Business owners already struggling to maintain their businesses afloat are now also grappling with this added expense. The Covid-19 Business Information Hub spoke to Samuel Aruho, a Customer Service and operations Engineer with Nokia Networks, about how business owners can optimize Internet usage for their businesses. He shared four tips:

  1. Determine the data speed and reliability you need

Internet speeds are determined by how much data the connection can download or upload per second—often referred to in Mbps (megabits per second) or Gbps (gigabits per second). The speed and reliability also depend on your location and the data plan you have. Business owners must engage service providers to test data speeds at their locations; this helps you understand whether the connection will be fast enough and offer a performance quality suited for services and applications you use. It also helps you avoid overspending. Businesses can also take advantage of several tools available on the Internet to evaluate data speed needs, such as https://www.verizonwireless.com/freedom/datacalculator.html.

  1. Choose an appropriate Internet connection

There are different types of Internet connections, offering various performances in terms of data speed and mobility. These include optical fibre, cable, satellite, WiFi, and 3G/4G mobile networks. While the different types of connections are associated with various pros and cons, the choice of connection typically depends on your requirements. In terms of reliability and link uptime, broadband WiFi Internet and Mobile WiFi routers (Mifi) serve as a clear leader against using 3G/4G mobile networks. Mifi routers are the best option for businesses having less than five users who are working remotely. For companies with more than five workers, broadband Internet provides a suitable connection. It allows you to connect up to 10 devices at the same time. The initial cost for a broadband Internet ranges between UGX 165,000 to UGX 350,000, while a Mifi router will cost you between UGX 100,000 to UGX 135,000 depending on the service provider. You can learn more about the available broadband packages here or visit any of these providers MTNAIRTELSMILE or ROKE Telkom for more information.

  1. Reduce unnecessary streaming

Streaming of any kind (music, videos, etc.) increases data usage dramatically. Video streaming is especially something to be cautious about when you need bandwidth for other tasks such as online marketing or virtual meetings. When using apps like Facebook or YouTube, ensure to switch off ‘auto play’ and decide which videos you want to open and watch. You can also cut back on data usage from streaming by watching videos in standard definition instead of high definition. When watching a video, you can select the data usage options auto or low, which consume less data than watching in medium or high that consume more data. Businesses can also consider restricting users to limit streaming, ensuring they instead use bandwidth for more critical tasks for business operations.

  1. Schedule data usage according to business activities

Business activity usually rises and falls according to predictable schedules. Many companies operate on a nine-to-five schedule, while some experience peak activity when the sunsets. Scheduling activities and data usage according to this pattern allows further optimization of digital resources. Suppose your business operates on a nine-to-five basis. Here, you can limit backups and software updates until the evening when operations are done and save a particularly intensive update or backup for the weekend instead. A company that has activities concentrated in the evenings and on weekends should consider the opposite schedule. These backups and updates are critical; remember, if your software isn’t up to date, you can suffer from seriously decreased performance, and you may also risk losing important information if data backup is not done regularly.

The actions above are not exhaustive on optimizing your Internet usage, but they are a strong starting point. Let us know how they work for you via this email covid19businessinfohub@gmail.com.


Benefits of ISO certification for small businesses

If you’ve ever heard of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification, you may think that it is meant solely for large businesses; however, ISO certification offers benefits for small businesses as well. The certification involves documenting your business’s practices, processes, and procedures and can have real impacts on your bottom line.

ISO certification, which is under the responsibility of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), requires  documentation of procedures, internal audits, management reviews, management of non-conformances, and compliance audits. While this may seem daunting for small business owners, its benefits include:

Improving tender success: Have you ever been beaten at a contract because your competitor is certified? If your business is ISO certified, you are more likely to get the contract because you are demonstrating your commitment to providing a quality service regardless of your company size.

Increasing customer satisfaction: Satisfied customers are the primary target for any size business. ISO certification ensures you have the processes and procedures in place to identify and resolve customer issues better and more efficiently.

Improving business efficiency: When you are a small business, efficient use of resources is critical to your success. ISO certification ensures you have the tools to reduce wasted time, money, and effort.

Jovan Nizeyimaana, an ISO expert accredited by My FDA Registrar Corp,  explains that the duration and cost of certification depend on several factors. These include your business sector, annual turnover, number of employees and if you require an industry-specific accreditation. From your first consultation, the certification process can take as little as 45 days or more, depending on the size and complexity of your business.   Jovan Nizeyimaana encourages small business owners to seek ISO certification if they are ambitious and positioning their businesses to grow.

Patricia Bageine Ejalu, Deputy Executive Director in charge of standards at UNBS, highlights that although ISO certification is still voluntary in Uganda, it is compulsory for businesses that want to access some markets in Europe and America. She advises companies start the ISO certification journey by accessing ISO training and relevant standards from UNBS on  https://unbs.go.ug//content.php?src=training-calendar&pg=content  and https://webstore.unbs.go.ug/ respectively.

For more information on ISO certification,

Email:  certification@unbs.go.ug

Call:  +256 417333250

Visit https://unbs.go.ug


Women's World Banking's virtual Fintech Innovation Challenge 2021

Women’s World Banking invites you to register and participate in the virtual Fintech Innovation Challenge 2021. The event will highlight Fintech innovations serving unbanked and underserved women to build women’s security and prosperity in the face of global inequalities. Women’s World Banking designs and invests in financial solutions in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities.

As Fintechs continue to innovate financial services and work towards financial inclusion, it’s important to recognize gender equality within those Fintechs. Therefore the event will host a fireside chat discussing how to build an inclusive workplace while working as a crucial driver for women’s financial inclusion. It will also feature four finalists from the innovation competition who will present their Fintech solutions that enable the unbanked and underserved women to build resilience through convenient safety nets in the post-COVID-19 world.

Date: 12th October 2021

Agenda

  • Advancing women’s leadership in Fintech fireside chat
  • Fintech Innovation Challenge finalist presentations
  • Driving inclusive policies for Fintech
  • Fintech Innovation Challenge winner announcement

How to register

To attend the event, register here.

For more information:

Email: fintechchallenge@womensworldbanking.org

Visit:  https://www.womensworldbanking.org/fintech-innovation-challenge-2021/


Strategies for marketing and promoting tourism through the pandemic

With the many preventative measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, the pandemic has put a strain on tourism businesses. While these measures are necessary to keep us safe and healthy, they also make it challenging to run a business as you normally might and make a profit. This month, the tourism sector celebrates World Tourism Day under the theme “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”. World Tourism Day, celebrated each year on 27 September, is highlights tourism’s social, cultural, political, and economic value and the sector’s contribution towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As the sector celebrates this day, tourism companies can use it as an opportunity to focus their energies on marketing and promoting their businesses to kick start recovery and growth. While critical, marketing can be challenging as businesses navigate the new normal with limited resources. To help address the challenges, here are four strategies that can help.

Focus on the customer experience:  Within tourism, it is essential to remember that most customers are not paying for products or services; they are paying for experiences. The trick is to promote the superior experience you offer to allow them share this experience with others. For example, if you work in a niche tourism area, promoting fantastic food, coffee, wildlife and nature is a great way to broaden customer appeal.

Optimize your website: How is your website looking now? Make sure the experiences you’ve developed are well promoted with appealing photography to increase inquires and sales. Now that so much has gone digital, update your website to accommodate online ordering and payment.

Innovate your brand: COVID-19 is a call-out to creative and inventive minds. If visitors cannot travel to you, you may need to travel to them – here, using virtual tours can allow potential customers to understand the layers and textures of the experience you offer. You can also offer tours with recorded audio instead of in-person guides.

Inspire potential customers: The pandemic has been tough, and people are looking for inspiration. Find out how they feel and understand what they want so you can ensure it is an essential part of your offering. Many companies have been focusing on their websites and social media pages and posting inspirational pictures, videos, and messages. Post fun and educational content to inspire your customers for the next visit.

While these strategies are not exhaustive to help market and promote your tourism business, they are a strong place to start. Let us know how they work for you via this email covid19businessinfohub@gmail.com.