International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation

Strengthening Bamboo Business Development Services in Ethiopia and Uganda

3 Sep 2021

INBAR is providing supporting bamboo SMEs and entrepreneurs in Ethiopia and Uganda through capacity building in Business Development Services.

Recently, INBAR through its Dutch-Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme Phase II conducted a capacity building training on Business Development Services (BDS) to bamboo small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs working on the bamboo cottage industry in Ethiopia and Uganda, reaching 54 beneficiaries.

Business Development Services are a very important means of supporting the development of SMEs, which are known to create employment, generate income and contribute to economic development and growth. INBAR has been providing these services to small scale bamboo enterprises, SMEs and entrepreneurs through its bamboo development projects in different parts of the Global South.

The training was focused on enterprise development through improved financial recording, product quality management, pricing, and business registration. It aimed to improve the basic business skills of target beneficiaries to meet market demands and equip them with entrepreneurial concepts that would boost confidence, initiative and creative thinking, all of which are traits required by successful entrepreneurs.

Among 54 trainees that were drawn from four SMEs, 41 of them were women. They mentioned that they are very much happy to partake in the training and expressed their hope that it will enhance their entrepreneurial ability to either sell a business plan successfully or run their existing businesses professionally. They further stated that continued follow up and mentorship is needed especially for startups if they have to become competent in the industry.

Trainee bamboo entrepreneurs and SMEs are thus expected to be able to communicate effectively with market and sectoral players. They will cope with the market and business dynamics and will be capable of doing business skillfully.

BDS are services that improve the performance of enterprises, their access to markets, and their ability to compete. The definition includes an array of business services, such as training, consultancy, marketing, information, technology development, and transfer, business linkage promotion, etc. It entails both strategic medium to long-term issues that improve performance, and operational day-to-day issues. BDS are designed to serve individual businesses, as opposed to the larger business community.

Dutch-Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme of INBAR aims to support at least 10,000 jobs through strengthened SMEs and bamboo industries in its three beneficiary countries, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Employment and income generation are particularly important as far as impoverished rural areas, vulnerable communities and groups are concerned. In this sense, supporting BDS is an important means of achieving local and international development goals by addressing poverty and empowering the poor and vulnerable groups.