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UIA Launches Digital Platform to Support SMEs, Investors

Over 2,500 SMEs from various sectors have already been enrolled on the portal. The enrolment will cover SMEs in all parts of Uganda.
posted onSeptember 19, 2023

The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), in partnership with USAID’s Feed the Future Uganda Institutional and Systems Strengthening Activity (ISSA) and telco MTN Uganda, a platform dedicated to boosting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The portal is an innovation by UIA to respond to the business and investment needs of domestic investors, the bulk of which are micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It also responds to the need to match young people, especially those in the education system, with the changing job market. The dgital space is a single point for formalized micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to access reliable, relevant, and timely information as well as business and investment opportunities.

Over 2,500 SMEs from various sectors have already been enrolled on the portal. The enrolment will cover SMEs in all parts of Uganda. State Minister of Finance (Privatisation and Investment) Evelyn Anite launched the digital platform at a colourful ceremony in Kampala, flanked by USAID’s Director of Economic Growth Office, Amy Beeler.

Through the platform, a micro, small, or medium enterprise has access to key information, data, and other critical and crucial interfaces that help in addressing its business and investment needs and challenges. Hosted and curated by UIA, and backstopped by the National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U), the platform provides MSMEs with collaborative interfaces with markets, suppliers, payment solutions, financiers, potential investors, regulatory bodies, business advisory services, investment support services, business processes, peer learning, and support, etc.

MTN Uganda, through its MoMo Pay, offers payment solutions for the portal’s marketplace. In her launch speech, Minister Anite said will enable MSMEs and domestic investors to have access to opportunities like joint venture partners locally and around the world and provide access to credit, incentives, and markets. She conveyed special thanks to the United States Mission in Uganda for supporting the process.

USAID’s Director of Economic Growth Office, Amy Beeler, hailed the idea of having the National SME portal, especially the space for matching university students and graduates with the job market. UIA Board Member, Izama said offers options to drive MSME growth, adding that entrepreneurs, especially young ones, should take advantage of the space. UIA Director General Mukiza said the platform is about linking domestic investors with opportunities like international investors and global markets without the usual bureaucracy.

Mukiza said the platform is intended to enable domestic investors to access incentives like free land in industrial parks, and other incentives from the Government of Uganda as well as access key business and investment services from ministries, directorates, and agencies. He appealed to MSMEs to utilize the portal. MTN Uganda’s General Manager of Business Ibrahim Senyonga said they are going to play a pivotal role in all sectors that build, guide, and drive SMEs, adding that success depends on collective effort like with UIA and Feed the Future. UIA acting Director for Domestic Investment Richard Nuwenyesiga said the portal offers MSMEs and business development service providers with things like profiling, geo-location, product and service awareness, access to markets, linkages, preferred support for growth, and challenges faced, amongst others.

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