Renewable Energy Business Accelerator Dialogue Boosts Ugandan SMEs
In an effort to strengthen Uganda’s renewable energy sector, key stakeholders recently convened at the Renewable Energy Business Accelerator Dialogue. The event aimed to address pressing issues related to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the renewable energy industry.
Organized by Belli Advisory and supported by GIZ Energizing Development (EnDev) Uganda, the initiative provided beneficiary companies with valuable training and mentorship. The focus of this training encompassed strategic planning, investment readiness, marketing, operations, human resource management, and financial management.
Under the theme “Empowering SMEs for Sustainable Growth,” the event emphasized the significant role played by SMEs in fostering economic development, innovation, and wealth creation within Uganda. This perspective aligns with the findings of the 2022 Uganda Investment Authority report, which highlighted the importance of SMEs.
These enterprises hold a critical position in the nation’s employment landscape, with over 2.5 million Ugandans engaged in the renewable energy sector, accounting for 90% of private sector development. The service sector, which includes energy SMEs, constitutes nearly half of Uganda’s total SMEs, contributing a substantial 44% to the nation’s GDP.
Despite their substantial contributions, SMEs in the renewable energy sector encounter various performance-related challenges. These challenges often stem from ineffective business governance and limited access to finance. Access to finance remains a major obstacle, as revealed by the World Bank’s 2020 report. SMEs struggle to secure conventional bank financing due to factors such as the absence of collateral and inadequate record-keeping.
Even when SMEs possess the necessary documentation, they face difficulties in raising capital, particularly micro SMEs, which are often perceived as high-risk and receive lower priority.
The Renewable Energy Business Accelerator Dialogue aimed to tackle these critical issues. It emphasized the role of business development support services (BDS) in preparing renewable energy SMEs to attract investors.
The dialogue focused on the challenges businesses face when seeking financing, the concerns of financiers, and the potential of BDS in bridging these gaps. Moreover, the event explored innovative strategies for leveraging BDS to position these companies for long-term success.
Belli Advisory, the driving force behind this transformative dialogue, believes that growth, innovation, and sustainable development offer the path forward for Uganda’s SME landscape.