By Anne Juuko, the Chief Executive, Stanbic Bank Uganda
Amongst all the sectors in Uganda, the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector remains the engine of growth for economic development, innovation and wealth creation. In recent reports by the Uganda Investment Authority, SMEs are spread across all sectors with 49% in the service sector, 33% in the commerce and trade, 10% in manufacturing and 8% in other fields.
An amazing fact is that over 2.5 million people are employed by SMEs in Uganda. They account for approximately 90% of the entire private sector, generating over 80% of manufactured output that contributes 20% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
However, despite this significant contribution to GDP, SMEs remain constrained by lack of financing, skills, business records, poor corporate governance, limited ability to adhere to terms and conditions of business contracts, and fierce local and international competition. These limitations lead to the high mortality rate of SMEs and limited growth for those that survive.
With that in mind, Stanbic Bank has been deliberate in its efforts to support the SME’s sector. We continue to put in place key interventions through collaboration with key partners to enable sustainable SME growth and longevity.
Stanbic’s support in the wake of COVID 19
The world today is facing a wave of uncertainty and a tough business climate brought about by the Corona Virus pandemic COVID19. As a financial institution at the heart of the economy, we feel these shocks and understand the impact the pandemic is causing not only to your day to day lives, but also your business operations. We are therefore proud to be a part of the COVID-19 Business Info Hub, a one-stop-shop for all the information that you will need to be able to overcome these challenges and see how Stanbic can support you during this time.
SME loan holidays
Stanbic is offering relief programmes such as loan holiday packages for business and personal clients as measures against the economic impact caused by the COVID19 global pandemic.
We are encouraging all our SME customers whose incomes have been impacted as a result of COVID19 to apply for a payment holiday of up to 90 days based on their unique circumstances. We are encouraging our clients to reach out to our business bankers, relationship managers or contact our customer care centre.
Our Enterprise Banking solution has been uniquely tailored to serve the needs of SME clients in Uganda. We are embarking on a journey to broaden our operating model while building a digital bank for our SME clients. Enterprise Banking speaks to our clients’ real needs and ambitions to grow beyond being small or medium sized businesses.
Stanbic support to SME development
Uganda as nation cannot grow without growing the SME’s and supporting their growth and development is a priority for Stanbic Bank.
Stanbic established a Business Incubator in 2018, aimed to provide training and capacity development for SME’s in Uganda. The trainings are free charge for SME’s and more importantly – you do not have to be a Stanbic client to apply and participate.
We have also expanded this programme and successfully launched regional incubator centres in Hoima, Mbarara and Gulu in order to avail training and development opportunities to SME’s upcountry.
Stanbic digital banking platforms
Stanbic offers Digital solutions for business owners make it possible to bank remotely and our relationship managers are available via phone and email to assist wherever possible.
For SME Clients:
Enterprise Online: You can enjoy this free service to manage all your business needs on the go. For more information contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enterprise Direct: This a dedicated call centre, a call away to speak with a business banker for all your business needs. Call us on MTN- 0312 222 660 or Airtel -0200 546 600 or UTL-0417 266 600.
We remain committed to supporting all our clients during this time. Together let’s take action to ensure we keep each other safe and we shall do all we can to see your businesses thrive now and in the future.
Chief Executive, Stanbic Bank Uganda.