Enabling Entrepreneurs: An Impact Evaluation of a Business Incubator Development Program in Uganda
In the post COVID-19 era, Uganda will rely on the capacity of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) to re-start growth. Supporting SMEs to grow and gain scale is therefore central to both government and the private sector. However, SMEs face two main types of bottlenecks. On the one hand, SME entrepreneurs do face strategy bottlenecks – the soft skills associated with business management, decision making and leadership. On the other hand, SMEs still suffer from operational bottlenecks – execution of better business processes and practices that enable growth. Interventions aiming at supporting SMEs often provide some kind of business training or generic mentoring with limited regard to the types of skills entrepreneurs lack. In this pilot study, we intend to test the impact of an intervention that combined comprehensive business training and targeted strategy or operations mentoring to highly skilled and growth-oriented entrepreneurs in Uganda. This study will contribute to emerging knowledge of improving SME productivity in a post-COVID-19 era especially the hitherto untested mentoring packages.