Friday, August 11, 2017 

Understand your audience, Centenary Bank boss

KAMPALA, Uganda- For banks to deepen financial inclusion and also encourage entrepreneurship among the youth, they need to critically understand that particular target audience, the managing director, Centenary Bank has said.

While presenting a paper on enhancing banking systems that support youth entrepreneurship and development at the recent 9th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting at Munyonyo,  Fabian Kasi, also the Chairman, Uganda Bankers Association said, “Financial institutions must study and understand the unique needs and challenges of the youth to be able to design appropriate products and services that will empower the youth, make them appreciate the banking space and provide financing.” 

According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the world's foremost study of entrepreneurship, while almost 10 per cent of Ugandans started a business in 2015, a fifth of individuals aged 18-64 have also discontinued a business in the past year, partly because of limited or no financing.

GEM points it out that young entrepreneurs in particular have “generally low” growth expectations; few innovate or vary product lines and creating an additional business is more common than expanding an existing one.

Kasi said banks have developed partnerships with various private and public organizations to boost financial literacy as well as extend loan facilities to the youth to enable them improve their livelihoods.

“In 2012 Centenary Bank was among the banks the government selected to partner with Kampala Capital City Authority to extend loans at subsidized rates to the youth under the Youth Venture Capital Fund and since then the bank has disbursed $20 million in form of loans to more than 13,000 youth,” he said.

The government’s Youth Venture Capital Fund offers individuals loans at 15% on up to shs25 million payable over three years.

The meeting whose theme was, Resourcing and Financing Youth Development; Empowering Young People brought together more than 200 senior government representatives from the 52 Commonwealth countries.

By EABW REPORTER, Friday, August 11th, 2017