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Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and Development Partners Pledge Support for MSMEs’ Transition to Large Enterprises

Written by on November 23, 2023

In a joint commitment, development partners and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) have vowed to collaborate in supporting the development of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) into large enterprises. This pledge was announced last week during a Private Sector-led development forum organized by Swisscontact, a development partner celebrating its twenty-five years in Uganda.

Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development reports that the country’s private sector consists of over 1,100,000 enterprises, employing approximately 2.5 million people—equivalent to 90% of total non-farm private-sector workers. However, micro-enterprises dominate the private sector at 93.5%, followed by small enterprises at 4.1%, and medium enterprises at 2.4%.

Pavlos Troulis, the Uganda Country Director for Swisscontact, raised questions about the scarcity of large enterprises, emphasizing the need for collaboration and support to transition MSMEs into larger entities. “Up to 98% of the private sector is MSMEs. Where are the large enterprises? What are we not doing right, or what must we do to support and graduate these MSMEs into large enterprises?” Troulis noted.

He stressed the importance of information-sharing, alignment, and mutual support. “This event is about supporting the Private Sector to achieve its objectives. It is urgent that we work together with PSFU and other partners to support the transition from MSMEs to large enterprises.”

Damali Ssali, the Chief Programs and Projects Officer at PSFU, echoed Troulis’s sentiments and called for regular engagements. She expressed PSFU’s willingness to host the secretariat that would drive activities to expedite MSMEs’ growth.

“As an output and a celebration of the 25 years anniversary of SwissContact in Uganda, I would love to see us establish a private sector-led development platform where we can meet regularly and share information, lessons, and much more to ensure the rapid growth of the private sector. As PSFU, we would be happy to host the secretariat of such a platform,” Ms. Ssali said.

Ssali urged stakeholders to enhance research for evidence-based policy and advocacy position papers to stimulate economic development. “We are happy to partner with anyone in this space, as we have access to over 3.5 million enterprises through our associations that can provide valuable data collection points,” she added.

Swisscontact, an independent non-profit organization established in 1959, has invested significantly in Uganda over the past 25 years, particularly in Agriculture and Value Addition, creating opportunities for thousands of youth and women.

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