URSB, Government Move To Save SMEs from Collapsing.
Written by Derrick Asaba on April 28, 2021
Constituting over 90 per cent of the private sector, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) and the government of Uganda have discussed proposed suggestions to help viable SMEs survive during these difficult times.
This has been through a joint two-day conference under the theme, ‘Insolvency and Intellectual Property Rights in the face of COVID-19’ aiming at supporting ailing entities while offering them rescue options and legal mechanisms to deal with their dilemma.
Since businesses especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are facing financial distress arising from the unprecedented and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the government is considering to support collapsing businesses in the aftermath.
This was revealed on Tuesday by the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister, Moses Ali who represented the Prime Minister as the Chief Guest at the conference pointing out that several rescue packages are being discussed in respect of COVID-19 defaults to save businesses from being closed prematurely.
Ali further expressed hope that the economy would revive soon on the back of picking up of demand and increased domestic and foreign investments and commended URSB for living up to the government expectations of being a dynamic and proactive insolvency regulator whose suggestions would be adopted.
The URSB Registrar General, Mercy Kainobwisho, said that the organisation had strategically placed emphasis on SMEs since they form the largest part of businesses across the country thus deserved attention.
“Insolvency has become more visible this year with the effects of COVID-19 being felt by many businesses. I would like to emphasise that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is not too late to salvage the damage caused by the effects of the pandemic” She noted.
The Government of Uganda has made efforts to put in place a conducive environment in which SMEs operate. This was pronounced by the Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs, Ephraim Kamuntu who commended SMEs for showing resilience even amidst the tough times through adaptability and innovation to remain relevant.
“Government has adopted insolvency and intellectual property laws to smoothen the business environment for SMEs. Uganda also recently adopted the National IP Policy 2019 that I urge you to embrace’ Kamuntu said.
Important to lean this initiative on, is that SMEs account for over 90 per cent of all companies worldwide and 70 per cent of global employment. More still, these contribute about 19 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The Insolvency and Intellectual Property conferences are platforms utilized by URSB annually to promote a stable insolvency practice, support innovation and creativity in Uganda.
This year’s conference attracted a wide section of stakeholders who presented various thoughts and perspectives of practitioners, policy makers, subject experts, and academicians, majorly aiming at stimulating thought on how the multitude of SMEs can be rehabilitated to prosper through generating multiple competing resolution plans while supporting the country’s social economic growth.