Women-led businesses are making big strides in Uganda. Victoria Byenkya explains how female entrepreneurs can break the barriers and keep going.
Entrepreneurship is great for so many reasons. From flexible work hours to being your own boss and everything in between, the temptation to start a business is high and more so among women but running a business, no matter how big or small, is no easy feat.
dfcu Bank has run the Women in Business (WiB) programme over the last eight years with a focus on creating an enabling environment for today’s woman entrepreneur in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector through provision of, among others, financial support, legal advice, accountancy training, networking and partnership opportunities.
The programme also gives free advice to women to help them run their businesses successfully. The five tips below will prove quite useful:
Use social media
In this digital era, social media presence is important for any business looking to connect and engage with its customers. Understanding whom your customers are and where to find them is critical to making social work for you. Whether it is Facebook, WhatsApp or Twitter, social media can be effective in lead generation, third-party endorsements, purchases and obtaining feedback from customers.
If you are not familiar with social media, there are online courses that can help you understand how to use such platforms to build up your business.
Use your networks
Being a small business owner is stressful, so using your networks to form a reliable support system comes in handy. It helps to have a peer or mentor who understands what you are going through and can help you navigate any potential problems you may face. Professionals within these groups can provide a great sounding board for new ideas. Find the time for social events that provide a platform for sharing ideas and making connections that go beyond ordinary business horizons.
Learn to delegate
The temptation to fly solo with your business, as an entrepreneur, is high regardless of how exhausting it is. It’s important to get other people on board to manage other responsibilities you may not be skilled in. Hiring professional and trustworthy employees you train will make it easier for you to delegate. This also frees you up to focus on your core competencies.
Never stop searching
Your existing networks and resources can only do so much — always stay on the prowl for new business leads. Knowing where to look for leads can make a difference.
As you grow, there will be different business cycles and you need a reliable bank as your business development partner walking this journey with you!
For information on dfcu Banks Women in Business programme and how to join it, email:
Victoria B. Byenkya, manager, Women in Business at dfcu Bank.