Who are our UGEFA Business Advisors?
Reign Business Development Agency (REBDA) is the development arm of Reign Group Limited, a holding company registered in 2010, to address business development, nutrition, finance, recreation and energy needs of society. Their mission is to contribute to the improvement of livelihoods by getting people into business and helping them stay in business. Reign enables clients to become more competitive in the ever-changing global market by offering reliable, high-quality and cost-effective business development services.
Aside from being UGEFA Business Advisors, Reign supports enterprises operating across sectors – in agriculture and food Security; environment, natural Resources and extractives; financial services; cottage industry/manufacturing; enterprise development; and tourism and hospitality – through management and technical training skills, investment advisory services, and market linkage services.
Reign’s overall objective is to strengthen the capacity of business enterprises to attain higher levels of productivity and profitability in a sustainable manner that benefits communities. Reign has been busy the past few months working with the first cycle of UGEFA-supported enterprises as a UGEFA Business Advisor. We caught up with Simon Abias to learn more about his experience with UGEFA and within his broader work at Reign.
And, how do they support green SMEs in particular…?
Simon Abias, UGEFA Business Advisor from Reign, explains that one of his favourite things about training green SMEs within UGEFA is to discover unique solutions to challenges that communities and SMEs face. “On my trainings I try to go off the script and focus on current examples”, says Abias, as it enables SMEs to take a hands-on approach to learning from others to solve core business problems.
Abias notes how SMEs are a vital source of employment in Uganda with tremendous capacity for delivering positive economic, social and environmental impacts. These enterprises bring jobs and wealth directly into the communities in Uganda. If they get the support needed – and that is what organisations like REIGN try to do – SMEs can lead the country through mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic “as soon as yesterday”, says Abias. For Reign, SMEs are key to inclusive economic development, women empowerment and supporting communities.
Consequently, "when given adequate business development support, we will see SMEs as the only tool that can fully help us recover from the pandemic", said Abias. Likewise, SMEs are concerned about climate change and how they impact the environment, so they have a unique role in the country’s transition to a greener economy.
What more can we do together?
There are some key areas to act on to achieve these goals shared by Reign. For Reign, some of the most important actions required by entrepreneurial ecosystem actors are to:
- Expand offers of full range of advisory support to SMEs
- Facilitate development of financial literacy and financial management among SMEs
- Improve access to finance through enhanced credit infrastructure and the introduction of innovative SME financing solutions; and,
- Empower SMEs with advocacy and knowledge management tools.
“If we do all that, the future of the SMEs is bright”, states Abias. We cannot fail these enterprises if we want to end poverty and transition to a greener, sustainable society in Uganda.
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