The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) in partnership with Mastercard Foundation successfully hosted its second annual Women’s Day Katale at the UMA Multi-purpose Hall on March 10 – 11, 2023. The event that was aimed at empowering, and recognizing the contribution and potential of women and girls as entrepreneurs was attended by the general public from various sectors, including government, private sector, civil society, and the academia. The event provided a platform for dialogue and collaboration toward achieving gender equality in business.
According to Dr. Damali Ssali, the Chief of Programs and Projects at PSFU, PSFU intends to make Katale regional and more digital beginning in western, northern, and eastern Uganda. “Through regional markets, we seek to influence women from all around Uganda. We are also conceptualizing a digital women entrepreneurs’ marketplace that is always open,” she said.
Over 250 women and girl entrepreneurs got to showcase their businesses at the Katale. The exhibitors alluded to the great opportunity provided to them to showcase their businesses, network, access the market, and acquire other financial skills, marketing, tax education, and leadership skills among others. They expressed their gratitude and promised to participate in similar events in the future.
To provide more value for the women, the event also featured a series of business clinics that provided training and skills development opportunities for women and girls entrepreneurs. The clinics were facilitated by industry experts and covered a range of topics, including business planning, financial management, marketing, and customer service. There was a one-stop-centre facilitated by Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Regsitration Services Bureau, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, and Opportunity Bank designed to offer financial skills, business development, tax education, access to finance, and business registration among others.
While opening the event, the Guest of Honour, Hon. Minsa Kabanda, the Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan acknowledged the progress that has been made toward gender equality in business, but also highlighted the challenges that women entrepreneurs still face. “Women are now participating in economic development, but their businesses still remain at subsistence level, low productivity, and profitability,” she said. She further pledged on behalf of the government to collaborate with all stakeholders involved to foster an atmosphere that supports the economic development of women and girls. This entails, among other things, developing and implementing more policies and initiatives that encourage the expansion and development of enterprises owned by women and girls. PSFU CEO, Stephen Asiimwe, thanked all the partners, sponsors, and participants for making the event a success. He emphasized the importance of empowering women entrepreneurs, stating that it not only benefits the individuals but also contributes to the growth and development of the economy as a whole. “Empowering women entrepreneurs is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also smart business. Women-led businesses contribute significantly to the economy. That is to say about 40%. We need to support and enable them to reach their full potential,” he said.