DHL, one of the biggest and oldest international courier companies in the world, has pushed its support to Uganda Small and Medium Enterprises [SMEs] a notch higher.
Charles Brewer, the company’s managing Director in Sub-Saharan Africa on Tuesday told reporters in Kampala about its plans to multiply fivefold DHL retail points in the country, to allow SMEs easy access to shipment services, as well as providing free training to all those interested in expansion and going global.
Brewer says many of these enterprises have been finding difficulty in placing their products on the world market, simply because shipping points are far away.
“If you are an SME, you are not going to drive 77 Kms to get to send a package, it becomes difficult and that is what some have been telling us,” he said.
The company, which last year had only 20 retail points now boosts of more than 100 across the country.
“And if we get ourselves moving, there will be more like 500 next year,” said Brewer at a press briefing.
“Our plan is to massively expand the DHL retail points. Our industries are forced to remain domestic because we aren’t allowing them to access the world. We need to make connecting with the world as easy as possible.”
The company is also looking at providing extensive training to SMEs in the country that would like to get their products across the border.
“Starting next August and rolling out across Uganda and 19 other of our African biggest markets, we will provide training for any SMEs on how go global; what packaging, which paperwork, which markets, why, how to get paid, how to find customers, all the A-Z. We will train every single one that is interested.”
Brewer acknowledged an immense knowledge gap; a general lack of understanding by the SMEs about how to take their businesses global. “If you don’t know how to do something, you are less likely to do it,” he stressed.
“We believe that if we give them the knowledge and motivation, confidence will lift and they will start doing it.