PSFU to roll-out regional Women Entrepreneurs’ Markets.

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Our Reporter.

In a move aimed at enhancing the competitiveness and visibility of female entrepreneurs across the country, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) is set to roll-out regional markets for women-founded and women-led businesses.

This development was revealed at the second edition of the annual PSFU Women’s Day Katale (Women’s Day Market) held in Kampala on the 10th and 11th of March 2023.

“In 2022, we held the first Women’s Day Katale in Luwero district. It had more than 100 Exhibitors. This year we moved to Kampala and have been able to accommodate over 250 Women Entrepreneurs. The online registrations for participation are in four digits – more than 1000 submissions,” Stephen Asiimwe, the PSFU Executive Director said, adding;

“Clearly, there is a lot of interest in this Katale concept as it gives women a chance to learn, showcase, and market their businesses. We believe that women play an important role in Uganda’s economic development and we must support them in every way possible.”  

Damali Ssali, the PSFU Chief Programmes and Projects officer explained that plans to make the Katale regional are underway starting with the Western, Northern and Eastern regions.

“PSFU Women’s Day Katale seeks to uplift women entrepreneurs from across the country. After Luwero, we came to Kampala. We want to impact women from all over Uganda through the regional markets. We are also conceptualizing a digital Women Entrepreneurs’ market place that will always be open. Just like the normal marketplace, the PSFU Women’s Day Katale will eventually become available and accessible all the time through an E-Commerce platform,” Ssali said.

The Women’s Day Katale is organized by PSFU in collaboration with Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works (YAW) initiative. It provides a unique opportunity for women and girl entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses and connect with other like-minded individuals while advancing important conversations about women’s and girls’ rights and gender equity in the private sector.

“At PSFU, we are committed to promoting Gender Equity. We know that investing in Women is not only a good thing but the right investment. That is why continue to hold this Katale in addition to other interventions aimed at empowering women,” Ms Sarah Kagingo, the PSFU board vice chairperson said.

She added: “It is also true that women businesses are small and lack capital when compared to men. But thanks to partners such as MasterCard Foundation, Women are able to access capital, get trained and given a chance to compete favorably.”

Further, Hon. Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, the Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs noted that even though Uganda has had several gains on matters of gender equality, much more effort must be channelled towards skilling women as there is still huge gender skills and jobs gap.

“Women-owned businesses are smaller, less productive and sustainability remains low. We must explore how women-owned businesses can grow from subsistence to industrial, sustainable and productive industries. Let us start with training and equipping them to compete favorably,” Hajjat Kabanda said. 

Minus the over 250 exhibitors, the 2023 edition had several business clinics that equipped participants with different skills. These included a trade simplification one-stop-centre facilitated by the Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Registration Services Bureau, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, and Opportunity Bank Uganda, a beauty clinic facilitated by Movit Uganda, the Boss Babe business clinic facilitated by Claire Muhire, a creative business clinic facilitated by Zeus the Agency, a health business clinic facilitated by Reproductive Health Uganda and a technology clinic facilitated by SafeBoda.