10 November 2012

Uganda: Women Urged to Up Entrepreneurship Skills

Kampala — Statistics show that only 7% of the women own registered land.

They usually work on land owned by men and therefore their efforts are not proportionally reflected in their income gains. Most of the women live below the poverty line.

"Most women in the country continue to live in absolute poverty though they work for longer hours a day than men.

"This is because they don't have powers over their businesses," says Ms. Stella Dumba the executive director Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL).

She notes that women own about 40% of the businesses mostly at the micro- enterprise, informal level.

MOWE is the tool that was developed by the International Labor Organization to highlight the involvement of females in business with an aim of changing public opinion and gender based assumptions about women entrepreneurs.

Statistics show that 72% of the women in Uganda are employed in the agricultural sector and thus they are responsible for over 90% of the total food production.

According to Ms. Maggie Kigozi an entrepreneur, even though women contribute highly to the economy, their efforts are never rewarded because they are unpaid family workers.

"I would like to dispel the myth that women can't excel in business. Women should gain confidence because they are also capable of attaining high positions in the labor market", she says.

Kigozi points out that women face a wide range of systemic inequalities including constraints to accessing income earning opportunities, information and training, remuneration of effort as well as participation in decision making.

Dumba advises women to form their personal businesses in order to improve their incomes and position in the economy.

"Whichever small idea one has can be transformed into a big income generator. The only thing needed is getting the basic skills such as accounting and customer care" she advised.

Kigozi aurged ladies to utilize institutions like Uganda Investment Authority and Uganda Industrial Research Institutions to have their ideas transformed into sustainable business opportunities.

"Sush skills enhance the competence of women running SME's," Dumba noted.

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