The Regional SME Industrial/Business Park project aims at enabling SMEs to acquire properly designed and serviced premises to improve on their working conditions and foster their survival and growth. Many of them currently have premises in the middle of the town, but run businesses such as metal fabrication and woodwork which are not wholly acceptable for town centre sites. In any event, many of their premises are cramped and dangerous and access is difficult.
Experience of Uganda Gatsby Trust
UGT has constructed two business parks;
- Njeru where there in an anchor investor’s warehouse and 13 member’s units being paid off on a mortgage basis.
- Mbarara with 6 blocks of 12 units each. The park was bought by Government and is owned by UIA.
UGT has a network of 21 Gatsby Enterprise Clubs with over 2,000 SMEs who are a good starting point
Among the top hindrances to the existence SME industrial sector in Uganda is lack of suitable and affordable manufacturing premises. Lack of planned industrial sites – especially up-country – has led to mismatched clustering of production entities, wanton abuse of environment and ultimately frequent relocation of production plants.
Investment in a production facility is a long-term capital outlay decision for an enterprise, irrespective of size or sector. The location is a fundamental strategic consideration and even more critical for the cash trapped SMEs.