The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, has initiated the “Enhancing Lead Firm Structure (LFS) for Youth Employment” project. This groundbreaking project focuses on addressing the issues surrounding poor-quality Business Development Services (BDS) and the exorbitant costs associated with these services. It aims to promote the establishment of new, high-quality BDS standards and encourage their adoption by providers while providing comprehensive training to address supply challenges, particularly in specialized areas.
To facilitate the development of these new quality standards, the African Management Institute (AMI) has been engaged. AMI is renowned for providing practical and easily accessible learning and development solutions to African businesses and professionals. Working closely with a technical working group comprised of key industry experts, government officials, and representatives from entrepreneurship support organizations, AMI is set to play a pivotal role in this endeavour.
Francis Kisirinya, the Chief Membership Officer at PSFU, emphasized the unique role each stakeholder plays in achieving the common objective of enterprise development. He stated, “Our core mandate is to ensure the continuous transformation of the economy through the promotion and development of sustainable and successful enterprises that drive economic growth and wealth creation.”
Kisirinya further highlighted the challenges facing the BDS system, stating, “The BDS system is characterized by various constraints that limit its potential to generate business growth. PSFU, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has taken the initiative to streamline BDS services.”
Johnson Abitekaniza, the Assistant Commissioner MSME at the Ministry of Trade Industries and Cooperatives, urged business support service providers to register for upcoming training sessions. He stressed the importance of sensitization to educate the public about these standards and their significance. Abitekaniza added, “We believe that through this initiative, service providers will be motivated to join and receive training, becoming better BDS service providers.”
Regarding enforcement, he mentioned, “When the Uganda National Bureau of Standards gazettes the standards, we will work out an enforcement mechanism that will be used. Initially, these standards will serve as benchmarks for BDS service providers in the ecosystem. We will work closely with UNBS to achieve this goal as we target the majority of businesses in the private sector.”
The two standards developed have been submitted to the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) for approval and gazette.
In an effort to implement the developed standards, PSFU has launched a comprehensive program detailing various training sessions and engagements with BDS service providers and users across the country.
The campaign will also equip organizations, entrepreneurs, and business professionals with information on Uganda’s newly formulated business development support standards, tools, mentorship, and resources required to drive sustainable business growth.
Moreover, participants will have the opportunity to:
- Gain insights into business development standards.
- Acquire practical strategies to navigate business challenges and seize opportunities.
- Establish meaningful connections within the business community.
- Access a suite of resources, including training and practical online tools.
Interested participants can visit https://www.psfuganda.org/psfuopportunities/bds-program.html to learn more about the business development standards and register for training. Early registration is encouraged, as limited spots are available.
About PSFU: The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) is a non-profit organization serving as a representative body for the private sector in Uganda. Established in 1995, PSFU’s primary goal is to promote and advocate for the interests of the private sector, foster a conducive business environment, and contribute to economic growth and development in the country.
About The Mastercard Foundation: The Mastercard Foundation is one of the largest private foundations globally, with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation collaborates with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work.
About AMI: The African Management Institute (AMI) is a social enterprise providing practical and accessible learning and development solutions to African businesses and professionals. AMI’s goal is to equip individuals with the skills, knowledge, and tools needed for workplace success and to contribute to economic growth and development across Africa.