30 SMEs to receive practical skills from Orient Bank and MUBS business academy - East African Business Week
Posted: 12 Jun 2019 03:13 AM PDT
About 30 small scale business owners are set to benefit from financial literacy training that will be conducted by Makerere University Business School and Orient Bank under the Orient Business Academy.
The business academy aims to help small and medium enterprises with a turnover of less than Ush120 million to grow their businesses to the next level through practical skills enhancement.
Speaking at the launch of the academy in its 3rd year of running at Orient Bank Offices in Kololo, Orient Bank Limited's Managing Director, Julius Kakeeto urged all small scale business owners to take part in finance literacy programs to equip themselves with the relevant skills to enable them survive in the country's competitive business environment and also position themselves for growth.
"A research done by Makerere University Business School in 2004 indicated that one in every two Ugandan businesses that were started failed within three years.
"Despite the ranking, the country got four years ago as the most entrepreneurial country in the world, the MUBS research still holds water today as businesses continue to struggle to make it to the 5-year mark.
"This is why the Orient Business Academy was started to equip as many brilliant businessmen and women as possible to enable them to grow and maintain their businesses," Kakeeto said.
The Orient Business Academy will run on an intensive 10 weeks training programme that climaxes into a graduation ceremony at which 5 top performers will be awarded up to Shs20 million to finance their businesses as selected by a panel of judges comprised of the Academy's facilitators and bank analysts.
"A business needs a strong backbone in order to survive and this academy will definitely enhance what the participants already possess in form of talents and skills with the right direction from our carefully selected facilitators," noted Kakeeto.
Makerere University Business School's Principal, Prof. Waswa Balunywa (PhD) noted that programmes such as the Orient Business Academy hold the key to eradicating unemployment.
He urged Orient Bank and other corporate institutions to open the training to other parts of the country for purposes of inclusion.
"We are pleased to partner with Orient Bank for the 3rd year running on the Orient Business Academy and we will continue to work together to shape the future of our business economy.
"Operating a successful business takes a lot of effort and continued learning given the changing trends of business operations globally and locally, especially now in the digital era.
"I, therefore, encourage all business owners and entrepreneurs to equip themselves with the necessary skills and information to beat the odds in especially our overly competitive business environment.
"I also urge companies like Orient Bank and the government which have opened their knowledge assets to the business community to expand these trainings across the country for the benefit of those that might not have the opportunity to travel to and from Kampala to access these trainings or simply develop an online training hub to which interested parties can subscribe and get certification."
The academy focuses on training small scale business owners in the areas of; The Entrepreneurial Mindset, Bookkeeping, Competitive Market Analysis, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Operations Planning and Financial Planning.
Any small business that has been in operation for between 1 and 3 years (12 to 36 months) and has an annual turnover of less than UGX 120 million is eligible to participate in the Orient Business Academy which has over the past 2 years trained over 100 small scale business owners and rewarded 10 of them with financial support of up to shs120 million.
To qualify for the academy, interested persons are required to submit a duly completed registration form, with a registration certificate, a copy of a valid identity card and 1 passport photo to Orient Bank by 11th June 2019.
BY PAUL TENTENA
Posted: 12 Jun 2019 12:58 PM PDT
By Jerry Hagstrom
WASHINGTON (DTN) — World Food Prize Foundation President Kenneth Quinn announced Monday, in a ceremony at the State Department, that Simon Groot, a Dutch vegetable breeder who developed seeds that have benefited farmers and consumers in Southeast Asia, has been chosen as the 2019 World Food Prize laureate.
Groot will accept the $250,000 prize on Oct. 17 at the Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, where the World Food Prize is headquartered during the weeklong Borlaug Dialogue — named for Norman Borlaug, the developer of the wheat that led to the Green Revolution and the founder of the prize.
Quinn introduced the event's host, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former Republican Kansas House member, as "the man who has returned the swagger to the State Department."
In short remarks, Pompeo said it is hard to predict world events and therefore the world must rely on innovation to solve problems. He noted that "the majority" of the world's hungry at the present are in conflict zones, and highlighted Venezuela as one of the countries experiencing hunger due to internal discord. But he also said that innovations such as those developed by Groot are the keys to finding a "cure" for a world hunger.
Quinn told the agriculture leaders who attended the event in the Benjamin Franklin reception room atop the State Department that Groot left the Netherlands in 1982 at age 47 to move to the Philippines. There he and a business partner, Benito Domingo, formed East-West Seed to develop vegetable varieties with enhanced disease resistance and significantly higher yields. At that time, commercial vegetable seed breeding was all but unknown in the tropics.
"As the use of his seeds spread throughout the Philippines and to Thailand, Indonesia and across Southeast Asia, farmers' daily lives were uplifted and consumers benefited from greater access to nutritious vegetables," Quinn said. "Mr. Groot in effect developed a stunningly impactful global network of seed producers who are transforming the lives of 20 million farmers every year."
Today East-West Seed serves more than 20 million smallholder farmers in more than 60 tropical countries, the World Food Prize Foundation said in a news release.
"Working closely with local and international NGOs, Mr. Groot created East-West Seed's innovative Knowledge Transfer program — a unique feature for a seed company — which trains tens of thousands of farmers each year in good agricultural practices for vegetable production," the foundation added.
"Mr. Groot has led the transition of millions of subsistence farmers, many of them women, to horticulture entrepreneurs, thereby greatly enhancing their livelihoods and income," the foundation said.
"These farmers have invigorated both rural and urban markets for vegetable crops in their communities, making nutritious vegetables more widely available and affordable for millions of families each year."
In a news release, Henne Schuwer, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States, noted that his country "is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, behind only the United States. I hope this award will serve as an encouragement to further strengthen the relationship between our two countries in the field of agriculture."
"Mr. Groot has truly shown the world what can be achieved when agricultural industry places the needs of smallholder farmers at the heart of their business," Schuwer said.
"The awarding of the World Food Prize to a vegetable seedsman is reason for excitement and gratitude," Groot said in the release.
"But the ultimate recognition is for the millions of smallholder farmers that stepped up farming from a way of living to building a business. Small-scale vegetable farming is a great way to grow rural income and employment and improve nutrition at the same time.
"Partnering modern science with a long tradition of Dutch seedsmanship has contributed mightily to the growth of the vegetable farming industry of tropical Asia in the last 35 years. Now it is the turn for tropical Africa where again quality vegetable seeds combined with major farmer knowledge transfer programs can create sustainable income for the next generation of African farmers."
Earlier, the Access to Seeds Foundation, a Dutch group, awarded Groot and East-West Seed its top prize for making its products available to smallholder farmers.
World Food Prize Symposium: https://www.worldfoodprize.org/…
Access to Seeds Index: https://www.accesstoseeds.org/…
Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport
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