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Financial literacy vital for SMEs – PSFU

SMEs do not know where or how to access financial services, Badagawa (pictured,left) said.

“We have noted that most people operating SMEs do not know where or how to access financial services. That is why this year’s annual member’s day event focuses on improving financial literacy to bolster performance and private sector growth,” he observed.

The Annual Member Days are intended to provide information, networking and capacity building for the PSFU membership by bringing together various business people.

Badagawa explained that this year’s theme is mainly geared towards financial service provision and business development support for SMEs which are a prerequisite for SME growth.

In an address with co-sponsors towards the end of last week, the foundation’s director said that the three-day event kicks off on Thursday 29 and end March 31 of this month.

The event will be held at Uganda Manufacturers Associations (UMA) Main Exhibition Hall, Lugogo and Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi will be the chief guest. It is also projected to have an average daily attendance of 1000 SMEs

According to Badagawa, the objective of the event is to assist SMEs have a better understanding of the availability of financial services and business development support and how they can effectively be accessed.

“On the demand side, many SMEs need guidance on the advantages and disadvantages of alternative forms of financing and how best to present their investment projects to potential financiers.”

The director for membership services, Ruth Musoke, said for the first time ever, participating SMEs will have an opportunity to have direct interaction with the Prime Minister through a question-and-answer session.

Musoke said that the event targets organizations that offer financial services to SMEs and will provide a platform for introducing new and existing services of financial institutions.

“SMEs are a strategic sector for most financial institutions with a market not saturated but increasingly more competitive. They are seen as crucial in fostering the entrepreneurship, competition and innovation that leads to sustainable growth”, she noted.

She noted further that the financial institutions have come up with a wide range of products where SMEs can apply for the most appropriate settlement method to suit their trading activities.

These services are competitively priced and offered in conjunction with solutions which meet SMEs risk mitigation needs

“The event will also act as a yardstick for addressing a number of challenges SMEs in Uganda face and provide an opportunity for participants to have a one-on-one meeting with the various bank officers, consultants, corporate managers and service providers who offer financial services and business development support to SMEs.”

Organizations which offer financial related services; leasing, mortgage, transfer, insurance, savings, stock exchange targeting small and medium enterprises will exhibit during this event.

By Mark Owor, The New Vision

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