60 Ugandan SMEs Empowered with Service Excellence Training

Kampala, Uganda HABARI DAILY I In a significant move towards bolstering economic empowerment and inclusivity, Pride Microfinance has forged a strategic partnership agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD).

This collaborative endeavor is poised to revolutionize access to financial resources for Uganda’s most vulnerable demographics, ushering in a new era of economic resilience and opportunity.

In a landmark partnership aimed at fostering economic resilience and inclusivity, Pride Microfinance has teamed up with the French Development Agency (AFD) to expand access to financial resources for Uganda’s most vulnerable communities.

The agreement, signed at the Pride Microfinance offices in Kamwokya, promises to be a transformative force, enabling the provision of enterprise development, financial literacy, and business training to more than 1,000 beneficiaries.

Marc Trouyet, the AFD Country Director, expressed the crucial role that access to financial services and banking facilities plays in unlocking the immense potential for growth among women and youth in Uganda.

He highlighted the significance of this partnership, calling it a “last mile agreement” that aims to reach every deserving member of society.

“Through this effort, we will provide tools for development, enabling hundreds of Ugandans to escape the poverty trap,” he remarked, emphasizing the rich culture of entrepreneurship in Uganda and the need to support innovative individuals who can make a difference in their communities.

Fred Jachan Omach, Chairman of the Pride Microfinance Board, signed the agreement on behalf of his organization, highlighting that the funding comprises two components: a grant for training and capacity building and a EUR 8 million (UGX 31 billion) loan facility.

The grant focuses on equipping beneficiaries with the skills and knowledge needed for entrepreneurship, while the loan facility extends support to struggling businesses to help them get back on their feet. This loan has a 5-year repayment period, with a one-year grace period.

Omach explained that the financial support aims to bolster firms still in economic recovery and build resilience to prepare them for any unforeseen financial challenges in the future. The facility will also support the implementation of financing offers in favor of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly targeting women and youth entrepreneurs.

Xavier Sticker, the Ambassador of France to Uganda, highlighted that benefiting groups and individuals will receive further support through credit facilities to enable them to capitalize on their ventures. This support will be made possible through a non-sovereign line of credit.

Despite advancements in Uganda’s financial sector over the past two decades, Edward Nkangi, Pride Microfinance’s Executive Director, pointed out that there is still a challenge when it comes to providing basic financial services to vulnerable groups. The adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated this situation, particularly affecting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Pride Microfinance, which has grown to become Uganda’s leading Micro Deposit-Taking Institution (MDI), primarily serves economically active Ugandans at the base of the socioeconomic pyramid. The institution boasts a network of 36 branches spanning the country, further emphasizing its commitment to financial inclusivity.

AFD, on the other hand, stands as a French Development Agency with a mission to promote sustainable development and accelerate the transition to a fairer and more sustainable world.

Their focus areas encompass climate, biodiversity, peace, education, urban development, health, governance, and poverty eradication, reflecting their commitment to supporting positive change on a global scale. The partnership with Pride Microfinance aligns perfectly with their dedication to empowering and uplifting communities in need of economic advancement.

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