By Samuel Muhimba
As the tourism sector continues to regain momentum following the negative impact of COVID-19, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Stanbic Bank through its subsidiary the Business Incubator have come into partnership that seeks to provide financial literacy support to Start-ups and SMEs in the tourism sector.
The partnership which was signed on Wednesday is aimed at ensuring development and sustainability of the businesses in the sector and is expected to bring a unique platform for both entities to jointly develop and implement a series of financial literacy programmes on enterprise development and national content to produce competent, financial solid and skilled entrepreneurs in the tourism sector.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the Stanbic bank Business Incubator will provide financial resources such as expert advisors, mentors, administrative support, office equipment and training for Start-ups and SMEs in the tourism sector and contribute to the development and sustainability of their businesses.
Speaking at the MoU signing, the Stanbic Business Incubator executive director Mr. Tony Okao Otoa said, the incubator will mobilize the funds to facilitate incubation activities, for start-ups and SMEs on the tourism business incubation programmes.
“The Stanbic Business Incubator will provide an enabling environment for the development of ICT-based solutions for record keeping, business management and performance testing on tourism businesses for wider use and application by SMEs and actors in Tourism,” Mr. Otoa said, adding that “We shall organize and facilitate a joint learning, experience sharing and training sessions for start-ups, SMEs and incubates based on enterprise needs. The training shall be centered to technological innovation, enterprise and business development.”
The UTB Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Lilly Ajarova, emphasized that the goal is to continuously develop and grow the tourism industry of Uganda. “Part of this effort is dependent on our private sector, making it imperative that we at UTB create awareness for the available tools that can help in achieving our mutual objectives. We greatly look forward to the amazing things to come out of this partnership,” Ms. Ajarova said.
She explained that through the UTB and Stanbic business incubator initiative, collaborations will be formed that will go a long way in contributing to the development and sustainability of the businesses in the Tourism sector through enterprise development, training and information dissemination. This, she added, will further nurture and cement all mutual present and future relationships and benefits.
“Given the current times and the immense impact on the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism sector in Uganda and beyond, this relationship is well placed to help businesses in the sector create new and existing methods to collectively re-start and drive tourism forward,” Ms. Ajarova added.
She observed that the MOU is set to create a strong platform for cooperation and cross-cutting partnerships between entities in different sectors. This, she explained, is bound to help light the spark that will re-ignite the nation, especially in the post COVD-19 era.