Many retailers ask themselves, “Where is my Money? How can I grow my business? How do I control my stock? How can I become a respectable trade master? For the last two years, Nile Breweries Limited has been helping retailers in its supply chain answer these questions through a Retailer Development Programme. This month, up to 100 retail business owners/managers are attending a week- long training and store mentoring at the company’s offices in Luzira, Kampala. “We want our partners in the value chain to optimise available resources through identifying where opportunities are, control of stock and learn how to grow their businesses. To foster self-regulation while growing sustainable businesses,” says Michael Ntende, The Trade Marketing Manager, NBL.

The programme comprises a material based business training manual and involves class room training & in store mentoring with emphasis on practical solutions. Participants are divided into small groups that meet weekly for a month. “The training is very enlightening. I have learnt how to calculate my sales in more accurate ways. As a business owner, one shouldn’t take customers for granted, but make them comfortable by serving them well,” says Patrick Onyango, the owner of Samiya Pork Joint and Bar in Kasanje. For Fiona Namitala, the owner of West Enders Bar, in Mpigi , the realisation of how critical it is to draw a line between business finances and personal obligations became clearer. “It may sound obvious that one should separate business money from personal money, but now many of us do it. After this training, I will be more deliberate,” she says. Namitala also reveals that she learnt how to make sure the stock is balanced and how to save the profits made from the business.

“According to research released in 2013/ 2014 about business in Uganda, it is indicated that Uganda is the most entrepreneurial country in the world. Many Ugandans love to start and do businesses, but the challenge is that the businesses don’t live to see their first birthday because many of them lack business acumen skills. The training NBL is offering to its retailers is directly geared towards closing that gap,” says Ronald Mayanja Omugalanda, Executive director Ability Explored, one of the business and management consultancy firms facilitating the training. He encourages businesses in Uganda to empower their stakeholders in their supply chain, both backward and forward linkages as this has a ripple effect on their own business.

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