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548 entrepreneurs and 122 SMEs graduate from the Stanbic Business Incubator



Stanbic Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire hands over a certificate to one of the entrepreneurs who completed training at the Stanbic Bank Incubator

Stanbic Bank Uganda, yesterday, August 09th, 2019 awarded 548 entrepreneurs from 122 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) certificates, for having completed business training and courses at the Business incubator.

This is the third cohort of businesses that the incubator has churned out since its inception in February 2018.

In the first cohort, 94 individuals from 34 SMES completed the entrepreneurship training and this increased to 420 entrepreneurs from 119 SMES. With the third cohort, the total number of individuals benefitting from the training, comes to 1,062 and 275 SMEs.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Stanbic Bank’s Head of Enterprise Development Tony Otoa said, “We have continued to register an increase in number of entrepreneurs and SMEs taking advantage of this programme. Today we have graduated 548 entrepreneurs from 122 SMEs who have gone through different training sessions ranging from contracting, risk and insurance, Bid Management, Procurement and Negotiation, Quality Management, Procurement and Negotiation, Branding & Image Building among others.”

L-R Tony Otoa, Stanbic Head of Enterprise Development, Executive Director Petroleum Authority of Uganda Mr Ernest Rubondo, Stanbic Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire, Donal Agaba Deputy Team Leader for the E4DSOGA

“Statistics from the past graduates demonstrate real productivity and revenue gains made by businesses that have completed the incubator training. 62% of companies showed positive growth through expansion into new markets and have taken on new employees. This demonstrates the continued growth we hope to for SMEs across the country,” he said.

Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire congratulated the graduates and reiterated that SME’s are the key engine of growth for Uganda’s economy with an employment capacity of over  2.5 million people, significantly higher than the corporate private sector at approximately 800,000.

“You simply cannot grow Uganda without growing the SME’s. Which is why we established a Business Incubator that provides capacity development programmes for entrepreneurs in SME’s. It trains and provides them with soft and hard skills necessary to improve their business operations and compete more effectively in the market place. It also deliberately prepares them to leverage the upcoming opportunities in Uganda’s emerging Oil and Gas sector,” he said.

Adding, “Over the last 18 months, the incubator has run three successful cohorts and a total of 1,062 entrepreneurs from 300 SME’s have been successfully trained and graduated from the incubator. I am happy to report that in the next few weeks, we shall be launching regional incubator centres in Mbarara, Mbale and Gulu in order to avail similar training and development opportunities to SME’s upcountry. We do this at absolutely no cost to the SME’s and more importantly – you do not have to be a Stanbic client to apply and participate.”

Stanbic Bank Head of Enterprise Development Tony Otoa, speaks during the third graduation of SMEs at the Stanbic Incubator on Friday

He encouraged the businesses not to relax but to strive hard. “Following this training session, our biggest hope is that the practical skills you have attained will do the same to boost your business growth, make it more effective and competitive in the market.”

“As you move forward in your growth journey, I encourage you to focus on continuously raising the bar in your business and supporting each other through collective sector based mentorship. There are a number of specific sector issues that can only be overcome by working and sharing collectively.” he concluded.

Stanbic Business Incubator in UGX 400 million partnership with GIZ

The immense success of the incubator programme has attracted an €100,000 euros (about UGX 400 million) grant from GIZ Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa (E4D/SOGA), a programme jointly funded by the British, Norwegian and German governments, to facilitate regional expansion of the SME business trainings across the country.

Through the partnership with the E4D/SOGA programme, the business incubator will be able to scale up skilling of SMEs in Uganda.

Donald Agaba, Deputy Team Leader for the E4D/SOGA programme said E4D/SOGA  was “pleased to be partnering with the Stanbic Incubator” as the incubator had “brought much-needed business development services to Ugandan enterprises and is filling a large gap in the enterprise development landscape.”

“The programme aligns with the E4D/SOGA initiative’s objective of promoting local employment through capacity development of both Ugandan enterprises and people, particularly to maximize local benefits brought about by investments in the nascent Oil and Gas sector.  E4D/SOGA appreciates the Incubator’s sustainable approach which emphasizes leveraging on existing networks and forming new partnerships,” he said.  

Tony Otoa, said the E4D/SOGA partnership would help the entrepreneurship skilling programme “reach more businesses and also broaden the training modules offered.”

About Stanbic Bank

Stanbic Bank- a member of the Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets, is itself Uganda’s biggest bank, commanding UGX6.1 trillion in assets by June 30th 2019.

ALSO READ: Stanbic’s Patrick Mweheire delivers 39.5% growth in H12019 profits

According to official industry results, the bank as end of 2018 was also the biggest bank by lending, deposits and profits- commanding 19.7%, 19.9% and 28.7% market share respectively.

In their just released H1, 2019 results the bank reported a 40% growth in after tax profit-  from UGX 96.1 billion in June 2018 to UGX 134.1 billion at the end of June 2019; Customer deposits grew approximately 10% to exceed UGX 4.1 trillion up from UGX 3.75 trillion in June 2018.

Customer lending in the 6 months grew by UGX 400 billion, growing the bank’s loan portfolio by 21.6% to UGX 2.7 trillion from UGX 2.3 trillion in June 2018. The bank’s total assets also grew 18%, reaching a historical UGX 6.1 trillion.

Muhereza Kyamutetera is the Executive Editor of CEO East Africa Magazine; strategic communications consultant, social-economic analyst and travel enthusiast based in Kampala.


Conrad van Niekerk, Coca Cola’s Uganda chief appointed regional Managing Director; role includes Uganda oversight



Conrad van Niekerk the new Managing Director for the Central Africa Region has been hailed as an international commercial leader and strategist with over 30 years' experience. He arrived in Uganda in 2016. Amongst his achievements is maintained Coca Cola’s market leadership. He also presided over, perhaps Coca-Cola Beverages Africa’s big expansion plans in Uganda and more than USD15 million investments into new innovations and expanded bottling capacity.

Conrad van Niekerk, formerly head of Coca Cola Beverages in Uganda, has been appointed the Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Managing Director for the Central Africa Region, covering Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana.

He will still sit in Uganda.

In another management change, Melkamu Abebe has been appointed General Manager of Uganda. He will now lead the Ugandan Country Management Team, reporting to Conrad, now the Central Africa Region Managing Director.

Melkamu has been the Supply Chain Director in Uganda since August 2018. Before that, he occupied a number of leadership positions in the supply chain function since joining the Coca-Cola system as a graduate trainee in Ethiopia in 2008.

“He (Melkamu) has developed an in-depth proficiency in supply chain management and demonstrated strong leadership and innovation skills,” said a statement from the company.

Melkamu Abebe, the new Uganda General Manager is no stranger to Uganda. He has been the Supply Chain Director in Uganda since August 2018. He brings more than 10 years’ industry experience- all of it in the Coca Cola system.

He holds a Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Addis Ababa University and “is passionate about developing talent within organisations and learning something new every single day,” according to the company statement.

Conrad, according to the same company was described as “an international commercial leader and strategist with over 30 years’ experience with Coca-Cola, the world’s most recognisable brand.”

Andrew Musingo Otieno has been appointed General Manager of Tanzania

“He has held executive roles within the Coca-Cola system with direct experience in people and talent development, sales strategy and execution, and product development,” further read the statement.

Conrad started his career in Coca-Cola SABCO (South Africa) in 1990 and subsequently took up leadership roles working for The Coca-Cola Company in South Africa, Egypt and northern Africa in general, before heading up the Ghana bottler as Managing Director from 2008.

He was eventually appointed Regional Manager for West Africa managing nine countries while based in Barcelona, Spain.

He arrived in Uganda in 2016.  

During his time, according to figures available to CEO EA Magazine, he grew the business’ turnover by 12% from UGX383.4 billion to UGX426.7 billion, maintaining Coca Cola’s market leadership against a resurgent competition.

In 2018 Conrad also led a USD15 million (UGX55 billion) investment plan for Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda that included a USD8.35million (UGX 30.7billion) manufacturing line in April 2018.

Edward Ojede, previously the Country Engineering Manager for Uganda, has been appointed the Manufacturing Director for Uganda.

He is also credited for leading several product innovations that especially use local law materials, such as Climb Up Milk- bottled by Rwenzori Bottling Company Limited, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.  Climb Up Milk is made out of Uganda milk supplied by Lato Milk, which directly benefits Ugandan dairy farmers; sugar supplied by the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL) that supports sugar cane farmers in Lugazi, and packaging elements supplied by Riley Packaging Industries, Bhumi Tapes and Graphic Systems Limited.  

Other Coca-Cola Beverages Africa people changes

In another Uganda team change, Edward Ojede, previously the Country Engineering Manager for Uganda, has been appointed the Manufacturing Director for Uganda.

Edward joined the Coca-Cola system at Century Bottling Company in 2007 and has distinguished himself over the years as an Engineering professional, occupying a number of technical leadership roles and gathering a wealth of experience in his field of expertise. He has in-depth technical knowledge of manufacturing processes and demonstrates superior project management skills. He is known for his agility as a leader and his superior interpersonal skills,” said a company statement.

Herbert Nuwamanya, a Ugandan has been moved into the role of General Manager of Zambia. He previously was the Commercial Director for Coca-Cola Beverages Zambia. He too is a Coca Cola insider having played various senior commercial roles in East and West Africa in Coca-Cola Sabco and Coca-Cola Hellenic.

Edward holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Makerere University and is in the process of completing his MBA. He is a member of the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers and a Board Member of the Manufacturing Skills Sector Committee under the Uganda Ministry of Education and Sports.

Outside Uganda, Herbert Nuwamanya has been moved into the role of General Manager of Zambia, “after playing a crucial role in the integration of the two Coca-Cola Beverages Africa operations in Zambia as Commercial Director for Coca-Cola Beverages Zambia.”

 Before that, Herbert held various senior commercial roles in East and West Africa in Coca-Cola Sabco and Coca-Cola Hellenic.

“Over the years Herbert has built up a seasoned multi-cultural, multi-country and multi-bottler experience with great impact in strategic business and commercial growth,” said the company statement.

Herbert holds an MSc degree and will continue to be based in Zambia, leading the Country Management Team.

In another change, Andrew Musingo Otieno has been appointed General Manager of Tanzania, leading the Country Management Team and reporting to the Central Africa Region Managing Director.

Andrew has previously served as Coca-Cola Beverages Africa’s Head of Sustainability, before which he was Public Affairs & Communications Director for the Group’s International Division.  

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Goat Races Charity: Ruparelia Foundation to build 5 green toilets in Kampala slums annually

According to Kampala Slum Settlements: Where access to Safe Water and Sanitation is still a Challenge, a report by Development Research and Training (DRT), Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and ACTogether up to 70% of urban dwellers do not have private sanitation in their home and rely on an informal network of shared toilets. In Kawempe and Makindye 16% and 4.2% of households respectively use paid for Public toilets. In one of Makindye slum a public toilet is located in another zone and serves 3 zones.



Ruparelia Foundation, the charitable arm of Ruparelia Group, is to build 5 green toilets annually in selected Kampala slums, Rajiv Ruparelia the Group’s Managing Director has said.

Speaking at a function to commission the building of an eco-friendly toilet facility at Good Samaritan Primary School in Kamwokya on December 6th 2019, Rajiv said that the project will be funded by proceeds from the Royal Ascot Goat Races.

The 6-stance toilet- 2 for boys, 2 for girls and 2 for teachers, will serve the school of over 500 pupils and will be built using the Eco Brick.  The Eco Brick, is a product of Ghetto Research Labs, a community-based NGO in the Kamwokya slums.

Mrs Jyostna Ruparelia (squatting left) is assisted to lay the foundation of the toilet project at Good Samaritan Primary School, in Kamwokya.

The brick is made out of stuffing and compacting polythene bags, commonly known as kaveera into plastic bottles and sealing it off with the bottle’s original cap. A one-litre bottle can accommodate up to 750 kaveera. The eco-bricks are then used as substitutes for normal clay bricks and are then used along with normal cement and sand mortar to erect wall structures.

The project is a brainchild of Mujuzi Patrick, a trained teacher. He uses unemployed slum dwellers to collect the kaveera and plastic bottles from the ghettos.

“This is a wonderful project which helps communities in many ways. It unblocks all the drainage channels clogged by the polythene bags, recycles the plastic bags and keeps the ghettos clean. The stipend given to the ghetto youths to collect the plastic bags and bottles keeps them away from crime. The eco-brick itself is youth environment friendly. Good sanitation, other than keeping the ghettos clean and healthy, also helps keep more children in school and education is fundamental to every society,” noted Rajiv Ruparelia.

Ruparelia Foundation trustees, Rajiv Ruparelia (left) and Sheena Ruparelia (centre) flanked by Akshay Agarwal a Director at Tamarai Pan-Asian Restaurant and Managing Director of  ASA Uganda Limited at the ground breaking ceremony. Rajiv challenged Ghetto Research Labs to build up to 5 toilet projects annual in various slums in Kampala.

He said henceforth, the Ruparelia Group would collect all the used bottles from their chain of hotels for the project.

“We have given them a target to build 5 toilets a year in different Kampala ghettos first and after that, we shall take it national,” said Rajiv.

Rajiv thanked the Royal Ascot Goat Races sponsors- SanyuFm, Speke Resort Munyonyo, NTV Uganda, Yo Kuku, Euroflex, Orient Bank, Brussels Airlines, Shell Gas, Farm Equipment & Construction Ltd and Robbialac Paints for making a difference.

Rajiv who is a trustee to the foundation was flanked by Mrs Jyostna Ruparelia a co-founder of the foundation as well as well as Sheena Ruparelia and Naiya Ruparelia who are also trustees. 

Rajiv Ruparelia, bending with white cap, lays the foundation of the toilet project

According to Kampala Slum Settlements: Where access to Safe Water and Sanitation is still a Challenge, a report by Development Research and Training (DRT), Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and ACTogether up to 70% of urban dwellers do not have private sanitation in their home and rely on an informal network of shared toilets. In Kawempe and Makindye 16% and 4.2% of households respectively use paid for Public toilets. In one of Makindye slum a public toilet is located in another zone and serves 3 zones.

Kampala, the Capital City of Uganda, has got over 57 slum settlements.  

Ruparelia Foundation: Enriching lives together

The Ruparelia Foundation was founded in 2012 by Dr & Mrs Sudhir Ruparelia and runs its programmes under the theme: “Enriching Lives Together”.

It funds startups, education, environment preservation, health, general welfare, religious charity, research, sports, wildlife and animal conservation.

Todate, more than 600 charitable cause have been funded by the charity.

Previous beneficiaries of Goat Races charity include Katalemwa Cheshire Home who specialise in providing assistance to the physically disabled including provision of medical, orthopaedic and surgical facilities, education and training as well as Nsambya Babies Home.  

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DOUBLE WIN: The Innovation Village secures a double win at Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Gala Awards 2019



The leading Ugandan start up hub – The Innovation Village – secured two awards at the 2019 Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Award Gala held at Hotel Africana on Friday 29th November, 2019.

The double awards – one for the fastest growing company and another for the most innovative company – were handed over to The Innovation Village Team at the awards gala following the Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Index Survey whose results were released last week.

CK Japheth (middle) and flanked by his team from The Innovation Village

In what was in reference to the struggles that entrepreneurs face, CK Japheth, Founder and CEO of The Innovation Village, dedicated the awards to all those out there building businesses out of big dreams: 

“I dedicate this to every entrepreneur with a dream too big it makes you look crazy, hustling with no evidence of results and not fazed by rejection and that entrepreneur who is discouraged not because people do not understand you but because you don’t understand yourself”, he said.

CK Japheth Holds The Double Awards

Drawing on his own lessons of being an entrepreneur, CK Japheth went on to encourage other entrepreneurs who are on the tough journey to realizing their dreams by dedicating the next decade to the entrepreneurs:

“2020-2030 is the decade of the entrepreneur, the defining decade dedicated to young hungry entrepreneurs who have not had a fighting chance. We are armed, locked & ready to unlock the massive untapped potential”.

In a message posted on his LinkedIn page, he went to thank his team who have dedicated their lives to enabling and unlocking potential and various partners – including Mastercard Foundation – for believing in them and supporting their work to make it possible for thousands of entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams.

He ended by stating the need for a more formalized approach to supporting entrepreneurship and innovation which can help corporate businesses and Government organisations grow:

“We need to institutionalise Uganda’s innovation industry by building strong, credible institutions that work together with entrepreneurs to drive innovation and as a result increase business growth”.

The awards were organized by Monitor Publications Limited, KPMG, the Daily Monitor, DFCU Bank, the Uganda Investment Authority and the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovations among other partners.

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