Business pacesetters under their umbrella forum, the Business Trend Setters Forum have called for a mindset shift among Ugandan and African businesses if they are to outgrow the inferiority complex and dependency syndrome on the western world for African problems. This call was made last Thursday 31st August 2023, during the fourth edition of the Business Trendsetters Forum held at Sheraton Kampala Hotel.
“We believe that if we can start believing in ourselves in the way we do our things as Africans, we stop run away from victimhood, scarcity mentality. If we stop having the herd mentality, the whole world is doing ABCD and so we will do it, no. We want to be different for positive reasons.
Even when the whole is going east, we could go west, as long as we believe that we are on track as Africans and pursuing those goals and visions that we are working on.
As long as we believe that we are track as Africans, and pursuing these goals and visions that we are working on, we will fully become self sustaining in the nearest future and stop the dependency syndrome on the West,” said Yvonne Mpanga, Executive Director Business Trendsetters Forum.
The forum ran under the theme “Mindset Change and Enabling Reinvention in Business” with the main focus of reinventing businesses to meet the demands of the present times like going digital to cut costs of doing business.
The experts also urged entrepreneurs to have a mindset change and move away from copy-catism since in the current world there are no new inventions but innovations through using ideas already in motion to come up with products and services that suit the societal needs which will in the long run spur economic growth by going global but in local way.
Ms Mpanga, also noted that Africa as a continent is so much endowed in terms of natural resources that it does not need foreign aid to solve her own problems, whereby she gave a case in point of Jena Herbals which make a number of herbal medicines that rival the modern medicines of this world.
She also added that technology also has a very vital role to play in mindset change, adding that “by using technology we can reach a global space, and have more people embracing latest innovations and trends from Africa so that they (innovators) able to grow their businesses.
James Brian Ntwata; Team Leader of Credible Youth International, also a Business Trendsetter when asked about the cancer of inferiority complex of African made innovations to Western innovations he nodded in affirmative but underscored the need for companies to make research through traveling abroad to learn from the already established companies and come back home and replicate what they are doing so that they meet international standards, adding that it pains him to see Europeans come to Africa as experts but Africans on the other hand run to the West seeking asylum. “We have to change that mindset, and that is why we have these kinds of events.
The Forum comprises of more than four hundred CEOs, business leaders and Entrepreneurs of which 70% are adults and 30% youth.
“What we want is to reinvent ourselves, make sure that people do business in a sustainable manner, in way that help them to look at what has already been done but do it differently so that we can produce products and services for Africa and by Africans with a future that hopefully by 2090 will be self sustaining without foreign aid,” she concluded.
The youth have also been urged to change their mindset by reading useful literature that will help them be better at whatever they do, rather than spending too much time on the internet and social media. A case in point is using information and communications technology to improve businesses for better results.
To ensure business sustainability at the Business Trendsetters Forum, Mpanga says that they are encouraging cross-mentorship whereby young innovators have been able to learn from business owners who have stood the test of time and set trends. She also believes that through partnerships, business continuity and sustainability will be taken care of.
Kyaligonza Gary Timothy, a student of Civil Engineering in one of the top universities in the country who also attended the forum says that he has been able to network and share ideas on how to grow his pastries business meanwhile at the same time focus on his studies.
However, he underscored the need for government to support the youth with resources so that their ideas can be turned into business innovations that will create jobs for fellow youth in the long run, and reduce the high level of unemployment amon the youth in Uganda.
Later on in the day, business trendsetters were awarded for their outstanding contribution in the business space, with the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury (PSST)Ramathan Ggoobi emerging as the Business Trends Setters’ award-Public Sector for his role in steadying the Ugandan economy through the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development.
Miraj Barot, the joint Managing Director of Tirupati Development (U)Ltd took home the accolade for best Trendsetter in the Private sector, brushing off stiff competition from Richard Zulu, the founder of Outbox Hub, an enterprising startup, Goretti Massade, CEO Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial Services, and Irene Birungi Mugisha, Director ARC and Ideator PCF.
Tirupati Business Park in Kyebando, a Kampala suburb, has facilitated over 200 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that have set up factories manufacturing different products. These enterprises provide more than 2,000 jobs directly and indirectly to Ugandans. (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 041 4674611 or email us at email@example.com).