SME banking – Unlocking the growth potential of an under-served segment:



Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are an important segment in Uganda’s economy. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, the SME sector employs over 2.5 million people (90% of the entire private sector) and generates 80% of manufactured output which contributes 20% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Even though SMEs play a significant role in the economy, most have limited access to financing. “Less than 40% of SMEs in Uganda have access to bank loans and approximately 80% of the SMEs are unserved or underserved by financial institutions. SMEs are typically deemed riskier than large corporations due to lack of credit history, poor financial backing and governance structures, less business experience, and low business diversification,” explained Lilian Lwantale, senior manager Advisory, Strategy and Operations Deloitte Uganda Limited.

Lillian Lwantale, senior manager Advisory, Strategy and Operations Deloitte Uganda LimitedDeloitte article1

Today, these needs are inadequately addressed by Uganda’s financial ecosystem. Although the SME loan size is growing, the amount of loans SMEs receive is still disproportionately less than corporates despite their more significant contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and employment. The current state of SME financing remains both a sizeable gap to fill and opportunity to serve. SME loan volumes in Uganda constitute less than 20% of total loans, presenting a sizeable opportunity for banks to target and increase lending to the SME market.

Lack of financing is consistently cited by SMEs as one of the main barriers to growth. However, several key factors impede SME lending. “Financial infrastructure such as low SME coverage by credit reference bureaus increases the cost of SME credit risk assessment, inadequate distribution channels limit banks from reaching out and serving SMEs in either the physical or digital space- not to mention lack of cash flow visibility which forces banks to adopt stringent collateral-based credit risk models hindering lending,” she emphasized.

These impediments are not unique to Uganda but also prevalent in more advanced economies where SMEs have easier access to loans. In those countries, we see banks, financial technologies (FinTechs) and e-commerce providers seeking to fill the SME financing gap by adopting innovative business solutions. So what opportunities are ripe for Uganda’s case study?

“Research shows that there is a disparity between what SMEs want and expect from banks and what banks can deliver. They require access to unsecured credit and are willing to pay a higher interest rate to obtain it through reliable, convenient channels such as branches, ATMs, and internet banking. At Deloitte, on top of providing SMEs with financial oversight, we offer business advice on how to lower their business costs, improve productivity and be better prepared for the global market,” Lwantale added.

Lwantale further mentioned that in the advent of the digital age, financial institutions in Uganda have to rethink the role of banks in the SME banking space to address the financing gap and capitalize on the SME banking opportunity.

“Given the importance of SMEs to Uganda’s economy, a strong well financed SME base is key to local and regional economic growth. With sufficient financing and access to business advisory services to foster continual improvement of operational efficiency and productivity, SMEs can become more competitive and resilient, drive innovation and be sustainable in today’s competitive economic landscape.”



Celebrating World Tourism Day At Kalangala (Ssese Island)


After hearing so much about World Tourism Celebrations, lady luck hit and a representative from Mushroominc was invited for the celebrations that were held in Kalangala district (Ssese Islands) on Wednesday.

Dubbed #TulumbeSsese masterminded by Jumia Travel UG, a team of bloggers headed to the islands to engage in the celebrations as well

Journey commenced at about 10:00am and took 2hrs to Masaka before taking 1:30hrs to Bukakata which happens to be the harbor for ‘MV Pearl’ that connects people from there to Kalangala through Bugoma Harbor

The journey on the ferry is calm and scintillating and is strictly 30 minutes from Bukakata to Bugoma under the guidance of Kalangala infrastructure Services (KIS). Once in Bugoma it takes about 45 mins to 1hr to reach Kalangala district


Awesome Views while in Kalangala

Ssese Islands was the official destination for the National celebrations where all stakeholders in the Tourism sector came together to celebrate the day. The celebrations were officiated by the Vice President H.E. Edward Ssekandi who called for sustainable utilization of natural resources for tourism development and the focus was to create more awareness on key travel destinations in Uganda and unlock its tourism potential thus contributing to National development.


The swimming pool at Brovad Sands Lodge

The team stopped off briefly at the celebrations where they proceeded for a delicious meal at Brovad Sands Lodge characterized by beautiful scenary, serene environment and ofcourse friendly prices that can be afforded by any Ugandan or an international person.


Brovad Sands Lodge in Kalangala

Jumia Travel Uganda was excited to be part of these celebrations and continues to be a big part of the Tourism sector. Country Manager Timothy Mugume says, “Domestic Tourism is a big resource for revenue and a big contributor to the GDP. We should tour our lovely country and while at it discover more ways of how we can add value and get value”.

10 motorbikes and 10 million shillings given away


With just one week left, Airtel Uganda has today surprised subscribers participating in the ongoing Mega Masappe promotion by doubling the number of motor bike and cash winners in the 13th draw.

Unlike previous draws in which 5 lucky subscribers were handed bikes and 5 others were handed UGX 1,000,000 each, today’s draw say 10 winners ride away on brand new bikes and 10 winners take home UGX1,000,000 each.Airtel Uganda Marketing Director, Indrajeet Singh, handing over the motobike keys to Male Kyewa during the Mega Masappe draw.

“It is all about our subscribers,” commented Mr. Indrajeet Singh, the Airtel Uganda Marketing Director during the prize handover.

“As part of this competition, all our subscribers have managed to win simply by participating – whether it was bonuses on their phones, brand new cars, bikes or cash sums, they have all been winners. Today, we decided to double the winners pool so that we can show our appreciation for the support over the past few months,” Singh added.

Kasumba Jinuliire recieving his Mega Masappe money from Airtel Uganda Marketing Director, Indrajeet Singh, during the draw.

Airtel Mega Massape competition was launched at the start of the July and over the past few months, the opt-in promotion has seen thousands of subscribers receive bonuses on hitting their daily targets and more than 100 lucky subscribers take home brand new cars, motorbikes and cash prizes of one million shillings each.

This week, Solome Nakiwala, Ochen William, Wasswa Tom, Joan Katesigwa, Tamale Douglas, John Baptist, Ahimbisibwe Evass, Hassan Lubega, Nabirye Zulayiha and Kasumba Jibuliire were the lucky winners of UGX 1,000,000 each while Male kyewa, Nabagwanya Christine, Mpanga Khasim, Musisi Patrick Yiga, Eria Gumisiriza, Serunkuma Alex, Tumukunde Rogers, Muzoora Philip, Mukwaya Mugoya and Claire Nabimanya won brand new motor bikes.

Speaking on behalf of today’s winners, Hassan Lubega, a Mutundwe resident thanked Airtel Uganda for this opportunity.

“I have been getting bonuses but I really wanted to also come and win one of these prizes. Today, I am taking home a million shillings. I am very grateful,” he commented.



5 more teachers leave for the USA under the ongoing EADB Maths, Science, Technology and Engineering University Scholarship Program.


The East African Development Bank (EADB) held two farewell events at the Serena Hotel, Nairobi and Kampala, for winners of this year’s education scholarships under the EADB/AAI STEM scholarship programme.  The winners of the prominent scholarship are: Mr. Edward Mureka, (Kenya), Mr. Barnabas Wafula, (Kenya), Mr. Denish Akuom (Kenya), Mr. Chris Mbae, (Kenya) and Ms. Miriam Kabagorobya (Uganda).


They will all undertake a one-year Master’s Degree at Rutgers University in the United States.

Miriam Kabagorobya (3rd right) with parents and members from EADB at the farewell luncheon before she left for the USA.

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The Scholarships are competitively awarded to experienced Teachers and Lecturers of tertiary institutions, secondary schools, and polytechnics, who have at least 3 years full-time teaching experience. They must be university graduates, hold a First Class/Upper Second Honours Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, Sciences or Engineering, be under 40 years of age and a citizen of the EADB Member States: Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. They must also be working full-time in public, government owned, educational institutions, have interest in pursuing a graduate degree in the STEM fields in the United States and be committed to returning to their home country to teach in a public government owned institution


This year’s winners have been selected from nearly 300 applicants across the EADB Member States of Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, who competed for a few select spaces.

Speaking at the event, Ms. Vivienne Yeda, Director General of the East African Development Bank, said that “This scholarship program will go a long way in helping to increase the number of qualified academics in the STEM fields and strengthen the workforce across science, engineering and technology related employment in East Africa.”

“The EADB and AAI warmly congratulates this year’s winners as they have successfully navigated a long and challenging selection process.” Ms. Yeda added.

The EADB scholarship aims to maximize the impact of EADB’s investment into the higher education sector by granting scholarships to accomplished lecturers who have agreed to return to their East African universities and continue teaching after they have received their graduate degree at Rutgers University.

The fully-funded EADB graduate level scholarships will provide full tuition, room and living expenses, within a stipulated budget.

dfcu Bank engages Agri-Exporters on scaling up exports



Local and international agricultural exporters in the coffee, tea, cotton & cocoa sectors converged at a breakfast meeting organized by dfcu Bank in Kampala, which intended to find solutions to production, market but mostly financial related issues.

Uganda’s agricultural products constitute 80% of her total exports and while the country is making progress on the exportation of value added and manufactured agri – products; the exporters still face major challenges related to access to affordable, export financing and forex rate fluctuations.

According to dfcu Bank’s Managing Director Juma Kisaame, dfcu is cognisant of the challenges that local and international agricultural exporters face in terms accessing financing and commits to working very closely with the exporters to unlock prospects that will scale up agri – exports while developing more opportunities for the farmers in the value chain.

In 2013, dfcu Bank started a strategic partnership with Netherlands based Rabobank to renew its focus on supporting the transformation of the agriculture sector in Uganda. Over the past four years, the bank has scaled up its value chain based approach to support the agriculture sector transformation through financing and capacity building of farmer’s associations engaged in viable agriculture projects such as cotton, coffee, tea among others. Through additional value chains, supporting inclusive markets in agriculture and trade, this has led to improve lives of farmers in Uganda. Previously, farmers found it hard to trade their produce as individuals.


dfcu Bank’s Chief of Business William Sekabembe says, “Through dfcu’s initiative with Rabobank, farmers have been able to sell their produce as groups which enables them to get a fairer price than if they were to trade as individual farmers.”

“Small scale farmers need support in boosting the quality and competitiveness of their products if they are to compete favorably in both local and international markets – support that dfcu is already providing,” he added.

dfcu Bank has ongoing programmes with Rabobank some of which include an agriculture advisory center which was opened in July. The center isused to complement the efforts towards improving the farmers’ skills set.

Gulu Resident wins Eighth Airtel Uganda Mega Masappe Car



One week after Dorah Nabukenya, a farmer based in Nakasongola drove back home in a brand new Airtel Mega Masappe car, the Smartphone Network has, once again, excited its subscribers across Uganda by handing over another brand new car and other exciting prizes including motor cycles and cash sums in the ninth Airtel Mega Masappe draw.

Airtel Uganda Head of Branding and Communications, Remmie Kisakye, pose with the lucky winners of the Airtel Mega Masappe promotion.

Santa Opio, a resident of Gulu, drove home in the brand new Toyota Premio while Harriet Sagagi, Nansamba Milly and Kiwalyanga Julius rode off on brand new motor bikes. Stephano Wagwomuti, James Lubega and Prossy Glady took home one million shillings each.

Speaking at the prize handover ceremony, the Airtel Uganda Head of Branding and Communications, Remmie Kisakye Kakuru, thanked the winners and all Airtel Uganda subscribers for taking part in the promotion. She encouraged those who had not won yet to keep hitting their targets.Airtel Uganda Head of Branding and Communications, Remmie Kisakye, handing over UG Shs 1Million to Prossy Glady the lucky winner of Airtel Mega Masappe.


“I congratulate Opio as well as all the other winners here today. For the past eight weeks, we have been rewarding our subscribers and we are always excited to see them in a celebratory mood. Our customers’ loyalty is crucial to our business operations and we are honored to be able to reward them with life-changing prizes” she said

“Airtel Uganda is committed to continuously giving our customers an unbeatable experience. We believe that fulfilling this is the reason we’ve remained Uganda’s Number One Smartphone network,” she added.

As part of ‘Mega Masappe’, subscribers are required to opt into the promo by dialing *162# and selecting option 1 to opt in, option 2 to check target and option 3 to redeem their data bonus – which will be broken down into Voice, SMS and Data at 50%, 10% and 40% respectively. This bonus however does not apply to social packs, quarterly, annual and free bundles.

Airtel Uganda Head of Branding and Communications, Remmie Kisakye, handing over the motor bike keys to Kiwalyanga Julius during the Airtel Mega Masappe draw.

Mega Masappe promotion subscriber bonus will be given instantly on the achievement of the daily target. For example, if a subscriber’s bonus target is Ushs. 1,000 and they recharge with that Ushs. 1,000, they will receive 100% bonus of the same value under the Voice, SMS & Data split. However, if they recharge with another Ushs. 1,000 on the same day, they will not get a 2nd bonus.

Daily and weekly prizes will be given away every Friday for the entire duration of the promotion.


Airtel Uganda holds 8th Mega Masappe Draw


Airtel Uganda handed over prizes to its subscribers in the 8th draw of the on-going Mega Masappe competition.

Airtel Uganda Head of Usage and Retention, Nellie Mwandha(middle) pose with the lucky winners of Airtel Mega Masappe promotion.
This draw saw Nabukenya Deborah, a farmer based in Nakasongola, drive off in a brand new Toyota Premio and two lucky subscribers, Mugiira Nicholas and Zakaria Jackson Ndiwayezu, take home UGX1,000,000 shillings each.
Sheila Namutumba, Ivan Masembe, Kigenyi Abdalah and Wandera Alex rode away on brand new motorcycles.

Airtel Uganda Head of Usage and Retention, Nellie Mwandha handing over the car keys to Nabukenya Deborah, a farmer from Nakasongola during the Airtel Mega Masappe draw.
The prizes were handed over by the Airtel Uganda Head of Usage and Retention Ms. Nellie Mwandha.
“For the past two months, we have faithfully rewarded our subscribers for simply loading data and opting into the Mega Masappe promotion. We have handed out brand new cars, brand new motor bikes, millions of shillings and loads of data in form of bonuses,” she stated during the prize handover ceremony.
“I call upon all Airtel Uganda subscribers to participate; there are many more prizes up for grabs.

Airtel Uganda Head of Usage and Retention, Nellie Mwandha handing over Shs1 Million to Mugiira Nicholas the winner of Airtel Mega Masappe promotion.

For those who are not Airtel subscribers, it is not too late to join the Smartphone network and win prizes while enjoying our excellent services,” she concluded.
Mega Masappe promotion subscriber bonus will be given instantly on the achievement of the daily target. For example, if a subscriber’s bonus target is Ushs. 2,000 and they recharge with that Ushs. 2,000, they will receive 100% bonus of the same value under the Voice, SMS & Data split.

However, if they recharge with another Ushs. 2,000 on the same day, they will not get a 2nd bonus.
Daily and weekly prizes will be given away every Friday for the entire duration of the promotion


Gomba, Singo to battlefor Airtel-Masaza Cup Tournament Trophy


This weekend, all roads will lead to Mandela National Stadium – the venue for the much anticipated Airtel-Masaza Cup tournament finals – where local teams Gombaand Singo will battle for the tournament trophy and the right to be called the best football team in Buganda.

Gomba qualified for the final after defeating the defending champions Buddu in a thrilling and dramatic semi-final game that ended in penalty shootouts at fully packed Masaka Recreational Grounds.Singo defeated opponents Busiro 1-0 in the first leg and registered a 1 – 1 tie in the second leg, automatically pushing them into the finals.

Airtel Uganda Head of Brand and Communication, Remmie Kisakye, addressin...

The exciting finals will also see the tournament’s leading scorers – Jjanjali Joseph from Gomba with 8 goals and Mukwala Steven from Singo with 8 goals – try to outclass each other in a bid to become the tournament’s top scorer.

Commenting about the upcoming Airtel-Masaza Cup tournament finals,Airtel Uganda Head of Brand and Communication, Ms. Remmie Kisakye, said; “Hundreds of people have been turning up to support their teams during the games and I encourage them to come out in large numbers and watch these two top teams play.”

“At Airtel Uganda, we aim to make a positive impact on the lives of Ugandans, not only through our excellent telecommunications services but also by investing in activities that bring people from all different walks of life together. Football is one example of those activities,” she added.

Kisakye concluded by thanking the Buganda Kingdom for the good cooperation and wishing the final teams good luck.

Discover Uganda through Food

One of the most fascinating things about Uganda is its various cuisines across the country from the different regions. North, South, East to Western Uganda. Each region is characterized by a different type of food. Today we focus on easy to make snacks that you are likely to crave on a random weekend while at home. These are some of the easiest and quick Ugandan snacks you can whip up within an average of fifteen minutes.


Samosa, samoosa, sambusa, or samboksa is a fried or baked dish with a savoury filling, such as spiced potatoes, onions, carrots, peas, rice, chicken, minced lamb or minced beef. Served hot, these are super delicious and could be given as starters, put on a breakfast menu or had with tea, coffee or hot chocolate.


Chicken Samosa

Made from Milk or Coconut milk specifically, Yeast, Sugar, Flour and Water. Mandazi are another easy to make sweet delicacy that is very popular in Uganda and East Africa in general.




A delicacy in West and East Africa as well as the Caribbean such as Jamaica, fried plantain is an easy to make quick snack that is very delicious. Fried plantain may be served as a snack, a starter or as a side dish to a main course, such as with rice, meat and several sauces. It is made in different ways: salted or unsalted, cut into “ears”, “fingers”, can be diced, or fried whole.





Chapati also known as roti, safati, shabaat in different parts of the world is a common easy to make snack here in Uganda. It can be eaten for breakfast, or as “kikomando” for lunch or supper. This meal mainly consists of chapatti and beans popularized by Campus students. Chapati is made of whole wheat flour salt and water mixed into dough and then flattened.



Kabalagala Pancakes
Made from the small sweet bananas or over ripe plantain and flour, this is a delicacy that many Ugandans enjoy at home and even many areas upcountry.

If you are the kind of person who likes to snap your fingers and make things happen or are generally too lazy to cook on weekends for example, then just head to Jumia Food and with one click on the breakfast menu for most restaurants around Kampala and these options will be available for you.
By Cynthia Tumwine.
The writer is the PR Manager at Jumia Travel Uganda.

dfcu Bank invests in education through the refurbishment of Nakivubo Blue Primary School.



As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Program, dfcu Bank has made a contribution of UGX 75 million towards the refurbishment of a three-classroom block at Nakivubo Blue Primary School.The school is currently managed by the Kampala Capital City Authority and has over 1,000 students from the surrounding Owino Market and Kisenyi areas.

The KCCA Director for education (4th left), looks on as dfcu Bank's William Sekabembe hands a dummy check to the Headteacher of Nakivubo Blue Primary School for the renovation of a class

The announcement was made during a press conference at the Kampala Capital City Council Authority offices.


The school which is located in downtown Kampala is one of the oldest primary schools in Kampala district. Overtime, its physical condition has deteriorated which has had a negative impact on its academic standards. Currently, the classroom block that will be not in use.


Speaking during the announcement, William Sekabembe, dfcu Bank’s Executive Director and Head of Business said the contribution was part of the Bank’s efforts to improve the lives of the communities in which it operates.


“Our Corporate Social Responsibility program is centered around a number of pillars which include; Child and Maternal Health, Environmental Management, Community Development and Emergency Intervention.”

Officilas from dfcu Bank, KCCA pose wit staff and students of Nakivubo Primary School. dfcu donated UGX 75 million to the renovation of a classroom block at the school.

“Under these pillars, dfcu Bank has supported a number of initiatives which we believe have significantly improved the welfare of the communities and organizations to whom they are given. Our belief is that the communities in which we operate should benefit from more than our services and products- which is why we support projects that are sustainable and whose impact will reach several members of that community”, Sekabembe said.


KCCA Executive Director applauded dfcu Bank for making an investment whose benefits will extend to countless members of the Owino and Kisenyi communities- over a significant period of time.


“On behalf of the Kampala Capital City Authority, I extend our gratitude to dfcu Bank for this generous gesture that will play an invaluable role in the education of numerous students over the years.”


“As we strive for all round development of our city, we both appreciate and recognize the power of partnerships in getting there. I guarantee that this contribution will achieve its intended purpose of transforming the recipient communities.”