Government encouraged to provide tax exemptions and incentives to SMEs

The research findings of the project titled “Embracing Social Entrepreneurship as a catalyst to sustainable business growth in Uganda” were disseminated on Wednesday 8th December 2021 at the CoBAMS Conference Room at the School of Business. The purpose of the study was to examine social entrepreneurship as a strategy that could promote sustainable business growth in Uganda.

Assoc. Prof. Peter Turyakira, the Principal Investigator of the project shared findings which revealed that social entrepreneurship is perceived as a business strategy that is intended to solve community-based problems while making some profits to sustain business activities. He also noted that according to their study, women are more likely to get involved in voluntary activities than men; while men and women differ in the nature of social enterprises that they initiate. 

Ms. Geraldine Ssali (C), Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Cooperatives, Assoc. Prof. Peter Turyakira (7th Left) and other guests at the workshop pose for group photo

While presenting his research, Assoc. Prof. Turyakira shared that social entrepreneurship significantly affects sustainable business growth. However, the high cost of operating a business significantly constrains sustainable social enterprises’ growth in Uganda.

The study recommended that the government of Uganda build a financial spectrum that could enable social entrepreneurs access grants for incubation. The study also recommended the provision of preferential funding to social enterprises as well as the provision of tax exemptions, incentives and an enabling legal and regulatory framework to further encourage the establishment and growth of MSMEs.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Cooperatives, Ms. Geraldine Ssali, commended the team upon bringing to light findings that show the importance of social entrepreneurship to our country. She further stressed the importance of having courses and curriculums that focus on skills that are relevant for use in the workplace with entrepreneurship and business being at the forefront of all. Ms. Ssali discouraged members present from cocooning themselves to employment only, because there are no jobs. Rather, she encouraged them to start their own businesses and to use their jobs to get capital to invest into their businesses.

Ms. Geraldine Ssali, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Cooperatives addresses the guests at the workshop

In his remarks at the dissemination workshop, the Principal of CoBAMS, Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali congratulated the study team upon their achievement and encouraged them to publish their findings in an international journal and integrate them into the teaching curriculum.

Dr. Eric Nzibonera, speaking on behalf of Assoc. Prof. Godfrey Akileng, the Dean School of Business, CoBAMS, congratulated the principal investigator and research team for the good work done. “As a school we are happy that the team has managed to attract funding for this research and also do the work” he said, “These research findings are very critical because they address issues of job creation and issues of sustainable growth of SMEs, because there is no country that can grow without small and medium businesses.”

The “Embracing Social Entrepreneurship as a catalyst to sustainable business growth in Uganda” project was funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovation Fund (Mak-RIF).

Speaking on behalf of Prof. William Bazeyo, the chairperson of Mak-RIF, Dr. John Mutenyo (representative of the research grant management committee) expressed his gratitude to the Government of Uganda for providing the funding to this research and other projects in the University that fall in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) III. Dr. Mutenyo commended the Government for the continued funding to research despite the challenges brought about by the COVID pandemic.

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