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WHAT IS THE BUSINESS LINKAGE PROGRAMME?  
 
The Business Linkage Promotion Programme is an initiative of a partnership comprising the Government of Uganda, UNCTAD and UNDP to promote the creation of durable and mutually beneficial business linkages between local corporate companies and affiliates of trans-national corporations (TNCs) on one hand and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on the other.

The main objective of the Business Linkage Programme is to promote creation of durable and mutually beneficial partnerships between affiliates of trans-national corporations (TNCs) and large local companies on the one hand and indigenous small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on the other, so as to enhance the productive capacity, efficiency, competitiveness and sustainability of their relationships. This should result into:

A more dynamic private sector;
Improved competitiveness of local SMEs, through technological, knowledge and management skills transfer and capital injection;
Improved micro-economic business environment conducive to the facilitation of business linkages;
More quality jobs created and/or preserved;
Presence of TNCs that are more deeply rooted in the local economy; and
Increased capacity to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) because of successful business linkages and availability of reliable local partners.

Programme Impact:

The Pilot Business Linkage Programme Pilot (2005-2007) was a partnership between UNDP, Government of Uganda and UNCTAD, sponsored by the Swedish Government through SIDA. An evaluation of the programme by international and national evaluators contracted by UNDP for the period from October 2008 to March 31 2010 found the pilot successful and all partners endorsed it as very beneficial.

MTN Uganda Limited, one of the key partners on the program decided to nominate another set of her Ugandan SME partners to benefit from the programme. MTN had 10 SME partners benefit from the pilot, and found the programme very useful in getting the SMEs to improve their entrepreneurial skills and management approaches which resulted in their becoming more efficient partners to MTN.

Tremendous achievements have been attained as a result of the interventions by Enterprise Uganda. The ETW training made the SMEs on the program to realize their potential and also appreciate the fact that it takes a positive attitude for one to successfully run a business hence giving them the assurance that they are in the right path. Several quantitative measures have been captured and compared with the baseline information collected at the beginning of the program.

CONSOLIDATED SUMMARY IMPACT ON MTN SMEs ON PHASE TWO.

No. Description Item Before Intervation After Intervation
% Change
1 Sales Generated Revenues Ugx 5 billion UGX 12.2 billion
144%
2 Employment created Permanent 59 133
125%
Part Time 524 2,054
292%
3 Total Value of Salaries paid Permanent UGX 483 million UGX 759 million
57%
Part Time UGX 493 million UGX 779 million
58%
4 Total Value of investments made   UGX 385 million UGX 1.13 billion
193%
5 Total value of loans accessed   UGX 248 UGX 600 million
141%
6 Taves paid   UGX 723 million UGX 1.715 billion
137%

The above impressive impact figures demonstrate the power of structured business linkages in improving the bottom line of all the players in the relationship let alone improve tax revenues to government. Similar performance was registered in the other sectors that were part of the pilot.

INTERVENTIONS PROVIDED BY ENTERPRISE UGANDA
Entrepreneurship Training Workshop (ETW)

The Entrepreneurship training workshop is an attitude-changing package for the owners of the businesses and their key managers. The major goal of the course was to demonstrate to the management and entrepreneurs the difference between merely running a business and building a growth-oriented enterprise. It has enabled the participants to become more familiar with behavioural competencies of successful entrepreneurs; look for, recognize and code those behaviours in themselves and others; strengthen and enhance the behaviours they choose to work on through practice and reinforcement; and to apply those behaviours in running their enterprises. It also challenges the participants to focus on entrepreneurial traits required for continuous improvement and competitive strategy in every aspect of a business.


Business Health Check (BHC)

A Business Health Check served two principle purposes: it helped us to ‘x-ray’ the entire operation of the business in critical areas such as business concept, organizational strategy, production/operations management, financial management, human resources management and marketing. Thereafter, we were able to determine areas of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and hence a structured basis for determining suitable solutions. The Business Health Checks provided a candid and balanced assessment of the status of the business, with definite recommendations on the way forward. The reports on each individual company have been prepared and shared with each company.

Business Advisory and Counseling Services
This is a follow up service offered to clients, to ascertain in a more detailed and specific manner, the challenges being experienced by the business. Much as the BHC report itemised the challenges noted and proposed an action plan to rectify them, some of these challenges were way out of reach for the SME managers to handle in a complete, competent and sustained way. This necessitated the need for business counselling to help the SMEs to glean objective and external propositions to handle those challenges. All the SMEs on the program have received at least two business counselling visits.

Management Skills Trainings
• Effective Customer Service
• Marketing management
• Operations management
• Team building
• Effective Selling skills
• Business etiquette
• Financial Literacy and management
• Productivity and enhancing staff performance.

 
To sign up for the programme contact Enterprise Uganda on Plot 38 Lumumba Avenues, P.O. Box 24581 Kampala, Tel: +2563123841000 -e-mail: admin.sec@enterprise.co.ug; info@enterprise.co.ug
 
 
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