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Skilling for Entrepreneurship more Impactful among Females with Secondary Education

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According to research conducted by a team from the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University and partners, entrepreneurs with secondary education were more likely (69%) to start new businesses after skilling compared to those with either primary or post-secondary education. Additionally, 70% of female entrepreneurs started one business after attending a skilling programme compared to 30% of their male counterparts. The findings were revealed at a research dissemination event held on Friday 11th December 2020 at CoBAMS and hosted live on ZOOM.

The research team led by Dr. Anthony Tibaingana was also made up of Dr. Faisal Buyinza, Mr. Emmanuel Ssemuyaga and Ms. Catherine Tumusiime from CoBAMS. Mr. Ronnie Mulongo from the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and Ms. Rita Atukwasa from the Institute for Social Transformation (IST) completed the team. The research which focused on exploring “The Impact of Skilling the Youth and Women in Household Enterprise Start-Up and Performance in Uganda” was funded by the Government of Uganda under the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

The data that informed these findings was collected by the research team through surveys and face-to-face interviews in the districts of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso where skilling Uganda programmes under PSFU, Enterprise Uganda, Uganda Industrial Research Institute and The Africa Institute for Strategic Animal Resource Services and Development (AFRISA) are implemented. The study that began in December 2019 successfully concluded in August 2020 despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting Government guidelines that imposed a lock down and other mitigation measures.

The study objectives were to; identify the methods used in transferring skills, evaluate the contribution of skilling to the start-up of businesses, examine how the training is influencing the performance of existing businesses and examine the strategic interventions on start-ups and performance. Anchored on National Development Plan III (NDP III)’s goal “To Increase Average Household Incomes and Improve the Quality of Life of Ugandans”, the study was also conducted in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1-No Poverty, 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth and 9-Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Presenting some of the findings on selected determinants of start-up, Dr. Tibaingana shared that the per annum average profit for start-ups in the study areas was approximately UGX 276,000 with a maximum of UGX 8 Million reported. “This tells us that much as they are small, these start-ups are making some degree of profit and if they are well supported, they can become bigger and support the Government in its Vision 2040.”

Regarding proprietorship, the results showed that while the majority of businesses (61%) were solely owned, only a dismal number (1%) were registered as Private Limited Companies while partnerships accounted for 29%. The average age of business owners was 32.6 years while the maximum reported age was 72 years.

On a rather good note for the Government and implementing agencies, 92% of respondents attributed the source of their business ideas to the skilling programmes. Buoyed by this finding, Dr. Tibaingana said, “The Government needs to invest more money into skilling because it is helping us to get more business ideas.”

Some of the participants who physically attended the research dissemination held on Friday 11th December 2020.

Delving deeper into the skills acquired during training by education level, the findings revealed that entrepreneurs with secondary dominated the skills acquisition. 59% of them acquired business creation skills, 58% acquired production skills, 51% marketing skills and 50% business management skills. Only 14%, 21%, 17% and 25% of entrepreneurs with primary education acquired the same skills respectively. The skill type reported as most acquired by those with post-secondary education was marketing at 32% while the least acquired was production at 21%.

Skilling methods play an important role in any learning endeavour. The stakes are even higher in an era where start-up capital is hard to find; the methods must guarantee knowledge acquisition and retention if start-ups are to make it past their second year of existence. Thankfully, role play was the most used method at 56% followed by the lecture at 27% and practical at 17%.

At the end of the dissemination, the research team made some policy recommendations. These included;

  • Government measures aimed at easing business registration, access to external start-up capital and business training should be encouraged to promote investment in enterprises that are starting up.
  • Skilling centres should be spread throughout the country so that entrepreneurs in rural areas can also benefit.
  • Training syllabus should be developed to accommodate a calibrated training for all.
  • Training materials should be made available to aid the practical method which is critical in skilling
  • Business partnerships and limited companies should be encouraged to enhance big start-up businesses as potential sources of gainful employment and enterprise performance.

On behalf of the Principal Dr. Eria Hisali, the Deputy Principal CoBAMS, Dr. Bruno Yawe thanked Dr. Tibaingana, Dr. Buyinza and the research team for conducting the study on an important aspect of Uganda’s education sector. He equally thanked Mak-RIF for sponsoring the study and in a special way thanked Dr. Godfrey Akileng, the Dean School of Business, CoBAMS for providing the leadership that has enabled research to thrive.

Representing Mak-RIF, Dr. John Mutenyo a Member of the Grants Management Committee (GMC) commended Prof. William Bazeyo for his efforts in ensuring that the University secured funding from the Government to specifically support research and innovations. He equally appealed to Dr. Tibaingana and the research team to write more proposals when the next call is advertised.

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Business & Management

UNCDF Officials Strengthen Collaboration with CoBAMS School of Business

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Prof. Godfrey Akileng (L), Ms. Fiona Luswata from UNCDF (4th L), Dr. Eric Nzibonera (5th L), Ms. Jennifer Bukokhe (5th R), Prof. Edward Bbaale (4th R), Dr. Mkhululi from UNCDF (3rd R), Prof. Bruno Yawe (2nd R) and other officials at the meeting. Visit by officials from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) to bolster their longstanding partnership, 18th June 2024, Conference Room, Room 2.2B, Level 2, School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Officials from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) recently visited the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) to bolster their longstanding partnership. Led by Jennifer Bukokhe, Deputy Director of Local Transformative Finance at UNCDF, the delegation focused on enhancing joint research endeavors and capacity building initiatives.

Dr. Yusuf Kiwala highlighted the fruitful outcomes of their collaboration, including pioneering research in groundwater financing and the development of a corresponding framework, culminating in a published book chapter. The collaboration also yielded a public investment management calculator for small project appraisal, alongside presentations at prominent international conferences.

Further initiatives encompassed analyses on urban refugees’ economic impact and the establishment of the Masters in Development Finance (MSDF) program, aimed at equipping future leaders with critical skills for addressing financial challenges in developing nations.

Left-Right: Ms. Fiona Luswata from UNCDF, Prof. Bbaale, the Principal, Ms. Jennifer Bukokhe and Dr. Mkhululi from UNCDF during the meeting on June 18, 2024. Visit by officials from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) to bolster their longstanding partnership, 18th June 2024, Conference Room, Room 2.2B, Level 2, School of Business, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Left-Right: Ms. Fiona Luswata from UNCDF, Prof. Bbaale, the Principal, Ms. Jennifer Bukokhe and Dr. Mkhululi from UNCDF during the meeting on June 18, 2024.

During the visit, Prof. Edwards Bbaale, Principal of CoBAMS, underscored UNCDF’s pivotal role in advancing research and education within development finance. He expressed appreciation for the opportunities to showcase CoBAMS’ findings globally and emphasized the necessity of ongoing collaboration and investment in research to tackle evolving sectoral challenges. Prof. Bbaale highlighted the contributions of research centers like the PIM Center of Excellence and advocated for partnerships with industry experts and academic institutions to foster innovation and knowledge exchange. Prof. Bbaale appealed to UNCDF to consider sponsoring of individuals willing to pursue the MSDF.

Dr. Godfrey Akileng, Dean of the School of Business, emphasized the program’s responsiveness to industry needs, particularly in addressing Africa’s infrastructure challenges. He stressed the importance of practical training and partnerships for enriching student experiences and preparing graduates for industry demands.

UNCDF affirmed its commitment to supporting CoBAMS through continued research collaboration, capacity building, technical assistance, and staff exchanges. Ms. Bukokhe introduced Dr. Mkhululi Ncube, emphasizing his role in promoting financial inclusion and blended financing strategies in Uganda. Dr. Ncube expressed enthusiasm for future collaborations with CoBAMS, pledging UNCDF’s ongoing support through various initiatives. The partnership between UNCDF and CoBAMS continues to drive impactful research and educational advancements in development finance, positioning both entities at the forefront of sectoral innovation and positive change.

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Economics Students and Research Fellows from Environment for Development, Makerere University Donate 2,000 Tree Seedlings to Masaka District Local Government

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Dr. John Seruyange and Mr. Jordan Semwanga, with Ms. Juliet Najjumba, the Principal Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr. Kabugo Denis Paul, the Senior Assistant CAO, and Ms. Rose Nakyejjwe, the District Natural Resources Officer, Students and Research Fellows at Masaka District Local Government (DLG) headquarters. Students from Economics program at the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, in conjunction with Research Fellows from Environment for Development (EfD), Makerere University donation of 2,000 tree seedlings to Masaka District Local Government (DLG), 14th June 2024.

Students from Economics program at the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University in conjunction with Research Fellows from Environment for Development (EfD), Makerere University, have today June 14, 2024 made a significant contribution to restoration of Uganda’s forest cover by donating 2,000 tree seedlings to Masaka DLG. The submission of the trees was held at the district office premises and was attended by notable officials and School of Economics faculty members.

Leading the students were their lecturers, Dr. John Seruyange and Mr. Jordan Semwanga, who emphasized the importance of environmental stewardship. The tree seedlings were officially received by Ms. Juliet Najjumba, the Principal Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), along with Mr. Kabugo Denis Paul, the Senior Assistant CAO, and Ms. Rose Nakyejjwe, the District Natural Resources Officer.

Dr. John Seruyange with students and research fellows assist Mr. Kabugo Denis Paul plant a tree. Students from Economics program at the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, in conjunction with Research Fellows from Environment for Development (EfD), Makerere University donation of 2,000 tree seedlings to Masaka District Local Government (DLG), 14th June 2024.

In addition to the handover, students participated in planting some of the trees at the district offices, symbolizing their hands-on commitment to combating climate change. This donation is part of the students’ annual campaign to promote environmental sustainability, an initiative strongly supported by the Environment for Development (EfD) Centre at the college.

Dr. Seruyange highlighted the dual purpose of the event: “Our goal is not only to provide tangible support to Masaka DLG forest reforestation efforts but also to inspire a culture of environmental responsibility among our students and the broader community.”

He added, “through this initiative, we aim to demonstrate the practical application of economic principles in addressing global challenges such as environmental destruction and climate change. It is a testament to our commitment to nurturing well-rounded graduates who are equipped to make a positive impact in the world.”

Students from Economics program at the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, in conjunction with Research Fellows from Environment for Development (EfD), Makerere University donation of 2,000 tree seedlings to Masaka District Local Government (DLG), 14th June 2024.

Ms. Najjumba expressed her gratitude for the donation, stating, “These seedlings will greatly contribute to our efforts to enhance green spaces in Masaka. We are thankful to the students and faculty of Makerere University for their continued support and partnership.”

Mr Kabugo called on the students to do an annual monitoring and evaluation of the donations to see if the trees were indeed planted and what impact they are creating on the environment.

The students were also called upon to focus on eliminating the use of plastics. Ms Nakyejjwe explained the damage plastics cause to soils and the entire environment.

Students from Economics program at the College of Business and Management Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, in conjunction with Research Fellows from Environment for Development (EfD), Makerere University donation of 2,000 tree seedlings to Masaka District Local Government (DLG), 14th June 2024.

The Environment for Development Centre at Makerere University plays a pivotal role in supporting initiatives like this. EfD is dedicated to the application of environmental economics to contribute to sustainable development. By integrating research, policy analysis, and capacity building, EfD aims to address environmental challenges and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.

Uganda faces significant environmental challenges, with deforestation being a critical issue. According to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Uganda loses approximately 122,000 hectares of forest cover annually. This deforestation contributes to adverse effects on climate, biodiversity, and livelihoods. Climate change exacerbates these issues, leading to more frequent and severe droughts, floods, and unpredictable weather patterns. These environmental changes threaten agriculture, water resources, and the overall well-being of the population.

This annual tree donation campaign by Economics students underscores Makerere University‘s dedication to fostering academic excellence alongside social responsibility. The initiative not only aids in environmental conservation but also serves as a valuable educational experience for the students involved. By addressing deforestation and climate change through such actions, the university contributes to the broader goal of sustainable development in Uganda. Last year, the students donated seedlings to Kiboga DLG.

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Prof. Hisali, Prof. Yawe handover office to Prof. Bbaale, Prof. Wokadala

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In a vibrant ceremony brimming with nostalgia and optimism, College of Business and Management Sciences-Makerere University (CoBAMS) celebrated the transition of leadership from the accomplished hands of Prof. Eria Hisali and Prof. Bruno L. Yawe to the promising stewardship of Prof. Edward Bbaale and Prof. James Wokadala on Friday 31st May 2024.

The event, attended by esteemed members of the university community, including representatives from the Vice Chancellor’s office and members of the Central Management Team, was a testament to the collaborative spirit and dedication that have come to define CoBAMS. The outgoing Principal, Prof. Eria Hisali, and Deputy Principal, Prof. Bruno Yawe, were lauded for their eight years of service, during which they significantly advanced the college’s academic and infrastructural capabilities.

A Legacy of Excellence

Prof. Hisali’s farewell address highlighted the numerous achievements under his leadership. He proudly noted the establishment of strategic partnerships and collaborations that have greatly benefited the college. “Our MoU with Stellenbosch University provided full PhD scholarships for four Academic Staff Members, while our partnership with Wageningen University in the Netherlands supported PhD training for two Staff Members. Additionally, the Republic of Korea’s embassy in Uganda granted three PhD scholarships,” he remarked.

Assoc Prof. Bruno Yawe (Left) handing over to incoming Deputy Principal Dr. James Wokadala.

These collaborations extended to notable institutions such as ACCA, Prudential Uganda, Addis Ababa University, The University of Rwanda, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, and the University of Dar es Salaam, reflecting CoBAMS’ commitment to internationalization and academic excellence. Prof. Hisali also mentioned the development of a Quality Assurance Framework and significant infrastructural proposals, including a new block pending government funding.

The outgoing Principal shared impressive statistics: a fivefold increase in publications from 30 in 2017 to 150 in 2023, expansion of wireless internet coverage to over 90% of the college, and a significant rise in PhD holders among the academic staff to 60%.

Prof. Yawe appreciated all the academic, administrative and support staff that supported his leadership throughout the 8 years of service.

Looking Ahead

Prof. Edward Bbaale, the incoming Principal, expressed his vision to elevate CoBAMS as a global leader in innovative teaching, research, and policy engagement. With over two decades at CoBAMS, including eight years as Dean of the School of Economics, he emphasized his commitment to continuing the progress made by his predecessors. He pledged to prioritize graduate training, faculty research, and the commercialization of innovations, alongside strategic financial initiatives such as the College Endowment Fund.

Prof. Eria Hisali receiving a token of appreciation from memebers of the Administrative Staff at MakCoBAMS.

Prof. James Wokadala, the new Deputy Principal, acknowledged the substantial achievements of the outgoing leaders and outlined his plans to build on their legacy. He aims to foster a supportive and engaging environment by establishing a gym for staff and creating a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO).

Heartfelt Farewells and New Beginnings

The ceremony featured heartfelt speeches from various stakeholders, celebrating the contributions of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. Dr. Susan Namirembe Kavuma, representing the academic staff, praised the outgoing leaders for their unwavering support and urged the new administration to continue fostering a conducive environment for teaching and learning. Ms. Caroline Nanono Jjingo, on behalf of the administrative staff, echoed these sentiments, appreciating the open and inspirational leadership style of Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe. “Throughout their tenure, they have resonated the words of Henry Ross Perot, who said that “Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.”  She said.

Outgoing Principal Eria Hisali and outgoing Deputy Principal Bruno Yawe cut cake.

The Deputy University Secretary, Mr. Simon Kizito, provided sage advice to the incoming leaders, emphasizing the importance of openness to feedback, leading by example, and maintaining accountability. He reminded them that failure is an inevitable part of leadership and encouraged them to learn from it while prioritizing self-care.

On their part, the support staff appreciated the outgoing leadership for their open door policy and willingness to support all staff especially those experiencing life challenges. Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1, Mr Joseph Ikarokot said there was a season for everything and staff were privileged to have worked with the duo.

A Promising Future

As the new leadership team embarks on their journey, they carry forward a legacy of excellence and a vision for a brighter future. With their extensive experience and commitment to innovation and collaboration, Prof. Bbaale and Prof. Wokadala are well-positioned to steer CoBAMS toward greater achievements and global recognition.

The ceremony concluded with a celebratory cake-cutting, gifts from the administrative staff, and a reaffirmation of the college’s enduring spirit of unity and progress. The new era at CoBAMS promises continued growth and success, building on the solid foundation laid by Prof. Hisali and Prof. Yawe.

Some of the staff memebers who were present at the handover ceremony.

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