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SMEs need not only credit

 KAMPALA, UGANDA- Stanbic Bank Uganda Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire has said that in order to harness the full potential of Small and Medium Enterprises, there is need to support them by not only giving them access to affordable credit, but also providing them with innovative products, skills and training so as to promote sustainability.

Mweheire who was speaking during the inaugural Enterprise Banking Conference said Stanbic Bank,  along with their partners in the Oil and Gas sector, recently launched a business incubator project that will support Ugandan SME working in the Oil & Gas sector.

“An initial intake of 16 SME’s are being trained and given the management skills to grow and survive beyond the vulnerable initial stage of development and become long term sustainable businesses,” said Mweihere. 

The conference organized under the theme ‘Building a sustainable Uganda through Business’ was held to give small but growing enterprises a platform to exchange ideas, experiences and network on how to grow their businesses in a professional and more sustainable manner.

Studies indicate that despite Uganda being one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world out of 100 enterprises that start business less than 10% live beyond their 3rd birthday. 

Steven Segujja, Stanbic Bank Head Enterprise Banking said they no longer believe their role is limited to providing financing but developing and offering innovative products and services that cater for the specific needs of the client.

“This is the reason why the bank is introducing a more versatile and responsive Enterprise banking solution which delivers banking at the doorsteps and fingertips of our client businesses.”

Stanbic’s Enterprise Banking previously known as SME banking has been significantly enhanced with features that go beyond just providing regular banking services now offering many more customer centric products such as Enterprise Direct, Enterprise Online, Point of Sale among others.

“Our objective is to grow a truly digital bank capable of meeting the needs and ambitions of our clients who want to grow their companies beyond being just small enterprises,” added Ssegujja.

Dr. Samuel Sejjaaka, a renowned academic and former Stanbic Uganda board member said most Ugandan Businesses rarely get the opportunity to interact with and learn from their bankers.

“In this way, this tells me Stanbic does not just see you as a customer it believes you are valuable partners. I encourage you to take the learning from the various sessions and apply them proactively in your businesses,” noted Ssejjaaka.