Uganda’s SMEs must always focus on the customer, Deloitte advises

Uganda’s SMEs must always focus on the customer, Deloitte advises
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Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Uganda employ more than 2.5m people, constitute up to 90% of the private sector and contribute over 70% of total GDP. The figures do not change much from seven years ago but and to flourish, Dereveals why obsessing about the customer experience makes business sense.

Speaking to media during the launch of the inaugural annual the Deloitte Small and Medium Enterprise Value Proposition in Kampala, Ms. Lillian Lwantale, Senior Manager Deloitte Uganda, said smaller local businesses will now access to best-in-class accounting, relevant compliance and advisory services at an affordable cost.

She said: “SMEs in Uganda face particularly limited technical and business skills, Deloitte has developed an affordable subscription-based value proposition designed to meet the unique service needs of Uganda’s SMEs including bookkeeping and accounting, tax compliance, business performance insights and corporate governance but most importantly the customer is king.”

She added: “Always focus on the consumer. Listen to them. If they’re saying that something isn’t right, change it.”

Mr Norbert Kagoro, the Deloitte country managing partner, revealed that issues of limited access to affordable finance, limited technical and business skills, informality of the sector, among other challenges have impeded the growth of the sector.

He also said Deloitte is committed to providing SMEs in Uganda access to best in class accounting, relevant compliance and advisory services at an affordable cost.

“Our monthly subscription package will include accounting, monthly management reporting and business insights, preparing of year-end accounts, preparation and submission of monthly tax returns, preparation and submission of the annual corporation tax return and corporate governance,” said Kagoro.

Uganda’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde said that not many people in Uganda set up SMEs for profits but majority do it for survival and peer pressure.

The event was also attended by key stakeholders in Uganda’s SME sector including Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), African Development Bank, Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA), Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP), Commercial Banks, Mobile Network Operators, Manufacturing Companies, among others.

Renewed commitment 

In January 2017, the European Union (EU), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) launched a Yield Uganda Investment Fund to boost investment in the agriculture value chain. An initial €12 million (Shs46b) was been made available to provide much needed access to capital for small and medium agri-businesses in Uganda.

This impact Fund, being arranged by Deloitte Uganda and Pearl Capital Partners Uganda, is expected to attract additional €13m (Shs49.8b) by the end of 2017 to reach €25 million (Shs 95.8b) in total commitments.

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