Researchers are advocating for the establishment of a fund by the government to aid Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in adopting eco-friendly practices, known as industrial symbiosis. This collaborative approach involves businesses working together for mutual benefits, such as sharing knowledge, materials, and space.
The researchers, Dr. Saadat Kimuli Nakyejwe and Dr. Kasimu Sendawula from Makerere University, highlighted that implementing industrial symbiosis can lead to increased profits, environmental conservation, reduced production costs, job creation, and innovation within industries. They stressed the need to sensitize entrepreneurs about the advantages of these practices, suggesting an amendment to the existing policy for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to incorporate environmental considerations.
The researchers also called on the government to establish a symbiotic fund to financially support organizations interested in implementing industrial symbiosis initiatives. They recommended collaboration with industry associations and experts to develop training programs for MSMEs, helping them navigate the challenges and opportunities of sustainable practices.
During the research dissemination, entrepreneur Ms. Nakalembe Betty shared her success story of implementing industrial symbiosis in her textile business, emphasizing the positive impact on sustainability practices and profitability. Another participant, Ms. Natayi Aisha from Luuka Plastics, highlighted their efforts in recycling plastic to reduce waste and minimize environmental impact.
Mr. Galiwango Hamza, the Director of Industrial Parks at the Uganda Investment Authority, welcomed the research team’s recommendations, emphasizing the alignment of industrial symbiosis with Uganda’s goals of promoting sustainable industrial practices. He expressed hope that more businesses would follow suit for a greener and more sustainable future. Mr. Ezra Byakutangaza from the Research and Innovation Fund of Makerere University congratulated the researchers and thanked the government for its continued support of research and innovation.