To mark International Women’s Day taking place on Monday 08th March, the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) has launched a Women in Business Club to celebrate female-led entrepreneurial ventures. The announcement was made today at the inaugural one day expo organized to kick-start the club.
URSB is the Government body mandated with registration of businesses, marriages, intellectual property, corporate rescue services as well as running the chattels registry that captures all security interests in movable property used as collateral to access loans. International Women’s day is celebrated annually.
It should be noted that women across Uganda have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with most women business owners saying they have been adversely affected. Even worse, the sectors hardest hit by the economic downturn like food, beverages and retail businesses are dominated by small scale women entrepreneurs who have since been left particularly vulnerable.
Despite this however, recognising that female entrepreneurs continue to surmount so many obstacles to attain entrepreneurial successes and needed further support was the motivations starting the club. Women in business still face many challenges, such as limited access to financing, training and business networks, in addition to the uncertain markets and fluctuating prices shared with their male counterparts.
Speaking at the launch, the Registrar General, Ms. Mercy Kainobwisho who also donated One Million Shillings to the club, said considering these additional burdens, it seemed imperative to recognise the achievements made by businesswomen and those running woman-owned small business.
She said ‘Creating an environment that fosters inclusion and accelerates diversity in business is critical for our nation. I also believe that enabling and empowering women entrepreneurs is not only the right thing to do, but essential to our success as the country’s business registrations body’
Connie Kekihembo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL) and Chief Guest at the launch, said clubs like these give women in business a voice to showcase that women are as capable to start and run a businesses as much as men. “It is important to me that URSB makes an impact that matters for women. I am pleased to share the progress we at UWEAL have made in supporting business women and enabling the success of our women entrepreneurs.”
As the central registry of businesses, URSB has supported women under their different umbrellas through training and engaged other partners like UWEAL to enable women reap benefits of formalization and access to capital through the SIMPO registry using movable property as collateral.