About 30 small scale business owners are set to benefit from financial literacy training that will be conducted by Makerere University Business School and Orient Bank under the Orient Business Academy.
The business academy aims to help small and medium enterprises with a turnover of less than Ush120 million to grow their businesses to the next level through practical skills enhancement.
Speaking at the launch of the academy in its 3rd year of running at Orient Bank Offices in Kololo, Orient Bank Limited’s Managing Director, Julius Kakeeto urged all small scale business owners to take part in finance literacy programs to equip themselves with the relevant skills to enable them survive in the country’s competitive business environment and also position themselves for growth.
“A research done by Makerere University Business School in 2004 indicated that one in every two Ugandan businesses that were started failed within three years.
“Despite the ranking, the country got four years ago as the most entrepreneurial country in the world, the MUBS research still holds water today as businesses continue to struggle to make it to the 5-year mark.
“This is why the Orient Business Academy was started to equip as many brilliant businessmen and women as possible to enable them to grow and maintain their businesses,” Kakeeto said.
The Orient Business Academy will run on an intensive 10 weeks training programme that climaxes into a graduation ceremony at which 5 top performers will be awarded up to Shs20 million to finance their businesses as selected by a panel of judges comprised of the Academy’s facilitators and bank analysts.
“A business needs a strong backbone in order to survive and this academy will definitely enhance what the participants already possess in form of talents and skills with the right direction from our carefully selected facilitators,” noted Kakeeto.
Makerere University Business School’s Principal, Prof. Waswa Balunywa (PhD) noted that programmes such as the Orient Business Academy hold the key to eradicating unemployment.
He urged Orient Bank and other corporate institutions to open the training to other parts of the country for purposes of inclusion.
“We are pleased to partner with Orient Bank for the 3rd year running on the Orient Business Academy and we will continue to work together to shape the future of our business economy.
“Operating a successful business takes a lot of effort and continued learning given the changing trends of business operations globally and locally, especially now in the digital era.
“I, therefore, encourage all business owners and entrepreneurs to equip themselves with the necessary skills and information to beat the odds in especially our overly competitive business environment.
“I also urge companies like Orient Bank and the government which have opened their knowledge assets to the business community to expand these trainings across the country for the benefit of those that might not have the opportunity to travel to and from Kampala to access these trainings or simply develop an online training hub to which interested parties can subscribe and get certification.”
The academy focuses on training small scale business owners in the areas of; The Entrepreneurial Mindset, Bookkeeping, Competitive Market Analysis, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Operations Planning and Financial Planning.
Any small business that has been in operation for between 1 and 3 years (12 to 36 months) and has an annual turnover of less than UGX 120 million is eligible to participate in the Orient Business Academy which has over the past 2 years trained over 100 small scale business owners and rewarded 10 of them with financial support of up to shs120 million.
To qualify for the academy, interested persons are required to submit a duly completed registration form, with a registration certificate, a copy of a valid identity card and 1 passport photo to Orient Bank by 11th June 2019.
BY PAUL TENTENA