The Minister of State for Micro-Finance & Small Enterprises, Hon. Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune has pledged to create a department within the Microfinance Support Centre to expand the market base for products produced under the Emyooga scheme.
Kasolo made the pledge last Friday while visiting Emyooga SACCOs in Mbarara after Immaculate Tumuhimbise, the Chairperson of Mbarara City South Women Entrepreneurs’ SACCO raised concerns over potential overproduction by Emyooga enterprises with no ready market for their products.
“People should not produce and fail to find a market. I will propose to the cabinet that funds be set aside to help in marketing and research for Emyooga products,” the minister promised.
He encouraged the entrepreneurs to be innovative and to produce attractive products that will be competitive in the international market.
“I implore Emyooga members to be innovative and creative such that when you make a product, say a bag, it is as good in quality as those made from established markets like China.”
He also cautioned prudence in managing their capital resources.
“You are not supposed to overspend; create cheap capital within the informal sector because you may find it difficult to access credit from commercial banks,” Kasolo advised.
Robert Mpakibi, the Assistant Registrar of co-operatives confirmed that 32 out of 36 registered Emyooga SACCOs in the district have already accessed money under the initiative.
Meanwhile, Phiona Aheebwa, the Front Desk Officer at the Microfinance Support Centre Ltd (MSC) was impressed by the saving culture demonstrated by Mbarara City South Women Entrepreneurs SACCO.
The 202-member SACCO has already saved Shs 38m since November 18, last year, bringing its total capital to Shs 68m after adding the Shs 30m Emyooga cash from MSC, revealed SACCO Chairperson, Tumuhimbise.
Aheebwa appealed to members to maintain the savings culture and promised that if they are consistent, they could benefit from a bigger loan facility from the MSC in the future.
“If members keep taking and paying their loans well, as MSC we shall make sure that we add more money in the project at a small interest rate, depending on the performance,” she said.
Aheebwa recommended that Mbarara City South Women Entrepreneurs SACCO apply for more money from MSC should the need arise.
“If you need more money, whether it’s 100m or 300m, I will recommend that you receive it from the Microfinance Support Centre. What matters is the members to grow but not for the SACCO to build magnificent buildings,” says Aheebwa
She encouraged the Commercial Officers to continue training Emyooga members for the program to benefit the entire country.
Mbarara district, comprising of Kashari North and South, received a total of Shs 1.12 bn to cater for 36 SACCOs at constituency level, while Mbarara City received Shs 1 bn also for 36 SACCOs.
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