Asia

SMEs can improve their long-term viability by incorporating technology.

Noela Byuma is a writer who lives in Japan.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) play an important role in economic development by providing jobs and tax revenue for the general public and governments.

They provide both forward and backward production and service links.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) account for the majority of economic activity in the global south, creating jobs, markets, and tax revenues. Many of them are run on an ad hoc basis, although they are becoming more formalized.

Most businesses were forced to close as a result of the Covid19 outbreak, while others were forced to shrink as supply networks were severely disrupted and, in many cases, cut off.

The agonizing lockdowns prevented inputs and goods from moving to where they were required.

Many SMEs relied on telephone services to transport inputs and products to their destinations.

Ugandan enterprises are fragile, according to a report released in May 2020 by the Ugandan government in partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and other partners on the impact of COVID-19 on Ugandan MSMEs.

Only roughly 15% of the 1,140 companies examined could operate for more than three months on their existing cash flow, according to the findings.

Others must make adjustments to maintain a level of profitability that allows them to continue operating.

Among other things, the findings pushed many organizations to reconsider their business models in order to accomplish their financial goals in the face of the economic downturn.

Employers were obligated to equip their employees with resources such as laptops, internet access, and desktop computers that would allow them to work successfully and efficiently from a distance.

Uganda’s economy reopened in early 2022 following a two-year closure.

The reopening of the economy offers significant prospects for the country’s socioeconomic development.

However, we must not forget the fact that incredible business ideas arose during the shutdown as businesses scrambled to adjust to the new normal.

Ella Clear Foods Uganda, a hospitality company, is one such example.

When the epidemic struck, this tiny business was compelled to reconsider its business strategy.

Ms. Catherine Nakatudde, the owner of Ella Clear Food, used WhatsApp to provide meals to workers in Kampala City during the lockdown.

Catherine currently employs over five people, with many more in the food supply chain.

These are the kinds of tales that drive programs like Airtel’s Uganda Needs More of You, which give forums for showcasing successful and nimble firms to potential partners who can help them scale and accelerate their growth.

Because it is a crucial driver of communication, the internet is now a cost-effective tool that helps SMEs become more productive and lucrative.

Business leaders may continuously communicate with clients and prospects with the right communication channels in place, helped by internet access, which opens up tremendous options at comparatively modest prices.

According to the Uganda Communication Commission’s (UCC) report for the third quarter of 2021, internet memberships surpassed 22 million for the first time in Uganda’s history, corresponding to a 52 percent broadband penetration rate.

According to the 2019 UCC quarter 2 market report, internet subscriptions were at 15.1 million before to the epidemic.

The revolutionary potential of technology, aided by local telecommunications providers like Airtel Uganda’s reliable and inexpensive 4G service, facilitates and fosters the growth of digital-based services for business operators and the economy as a whole.

In order to compete favorably in the market, SMEs must adapt and include innovative channels into their service offering.

These new tactics, which include social media marketing, digital service delivery, and digital financial transactions, among others, ensure corporate success in a digital era like the one we are currently experiencing.

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