Ugandan SMEs Share Lessons from European Tour

Heads of over 30 Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs in Uganda recently visited Germany and Turkey on a 10 days familiarization trip, where they learnt numerous lessons.

Godfred Ssenteza, the SME’s Uganda said Ugandan SMEs and those of Germany are not different in terms of Philosophy only that their degree of success poses a great challenge for Ugandan SME’s to work twice as hard.

“The first lesson is Ugandans must embrace the registration of their trade names and endeavor to grow them with a connotation of quality and reliability; that is how Germany built strong brands” he revealed.

While addressing the media in Kampala, Ssenteza added that 95 percent of SMEs in Germany are family businesses and they have a “we” philosophy that is ingrained in all the family members as opposed to Ugandans.

“If Uganda takes out the “I” philosophy in Ugandan entities that will simply mean that SMEs will be handed over from one generation to another and we embrace a work in progress and ensure that family members have a responsibility to ensure that business survive” he added.

“There are 3.67million SMEs in Germany employing 68% of the working population of the country,” he said.

“The SME sector is thriving in this part of the world with an annual turnover of up to 500m Euros. SMEs are arguably among the biggest contributors to the GDP of the republic of Germany.”

“Germany SMEs build Brands not personal empires. A brand like Schussenrieder, have survived since 1183 and today it is one of the most popular brands of beer in Bavaria Germany. Brands have the capacity to live on long after their founders but personal empires don’t”.

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