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GIZ launches 9 billion project to improve small businesses

GIZ’s employment and skills for development in Africa (E4D) has launched a Shs. 8.5 Billion project which calls for applications to enhance competitiveness for over 1000 small and medium enterprises in Uganda.

GIZ E4D Uganda’s team leader, Donald Agaba said the project is part of its pandemic response efforts to help SMEs to deal with the ongoing interruptions to supply chains and the decreasing consumption that have forced companies in various sectors to close or cut jobs, leading to a significant fall in company revenues and widespread unemployment.

Jimmy Byaruhanga, the ECOS project team leader noted that selected enterprises will fully be analyzed to identify key restraints limiting their growth and competitiveness which would be followed by a series of training and technical assistance in areas of innovation and digitalization.
Byaruhanga said: “The project was kick-star
ted in November 2021 and in January 2022 we had a market scan. All these were geared towards understanding the markets post Covid-19. So that Ugandan SMEs can be registered as successful. As we launch the call for applications, the SMEs today we are sending a message to the SMEs that there is a link upon which you can apply to be able to participate in ECOS.”

He assured applicants that there will be no technical know who in the rigorous process to choose who receives the support.

The project also targets to create 3000 jobs and extend employment opportunities to 22,000 Ugandan.

the GIZ E4D Project Manager, said Christine Ssenteza said that ECOS further seeks to promote female-led enterprises, creation of green jobs and private sector engagement.

The Senior Presidential Advisor on Trade Amelia Kyambadde criticized many SMEs for employing unskilled people who end up not performing towards their businesses hence leading to losses.

“Many companies employ the unskilled to avoid costs, employing relatives and friends because you want to cut down on costs which are affecting you in the long run,” Kyambadde said.

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