BY MARIA EYORU
Uganda Christian University (UCU) community has been advised to spearhead an aggressive research campaign in a bid to find solutions to the problems affecting the country.
The advice was given by Steven Mboko Kirya, who was the guest speaker’s representative at the Third SME International Conference held at Colline Hotel in Mukono from November 14- 15. He represented Hon Amelia Kyambadde, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
The conference was organised by the Faculty of Business and Administration under the theme “Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Globalisation, an SME Perspective.” “I wish you deliberate on the solutions to elevate Uganda from this peasant society. Let’s move forward to a dynamic and adoptive society which includes innovation, entrepreneurship and globalization,” Kirya said.
During the conference, Dr John Senyonyi, the vice chancellor of UCU, congratulated the faculty upon launching their first journal, Business and Economic Management Review Journal. He said, “An academic institution is only good with its disseminations.”
He also encouraged UCU staff to carry out research in order to solve problems in the country. “If you look at the world and you are dissatisfied with it, the university don should not leave it at that, but should be able to ask questions,” Senyonyi advised.
Gideon Badagawa, the executive director for the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, emphasised that people should have soft and hard skills if they are to succeed in the business world. He said that many employers are looking for the young people who are honest, go-getters, team leaders and good communicators.
In addition, Badagawa emphasised on people’s character when running a business. “The first thing you sell is your character not your product,” he said. He also encouraged the Ugandans to look for the problems affecting people and solve them instead of looking for businesses already in existence.
“Those seeking to come into business, if you do not have a problem to solve, that is a problem for you,” he said.
And Amos Masaba Wekesa, the CEO of Great Lakes Safari and one of the panel discussants from the tourism industry, advised the students to have unique personal skills. “If you have a job, make sure you are so skilled that you are on demand and have a wide network.”
He encouraged the students to start by volunteering when they go home for holidays. “Students must find ways in which to participate in business because then it prepares them for the real world. They should have the right attitude to learn from someone,” he said.
Martha Dambya, one of the Master’s students attending the conference, said that she has been inspired to start a business and make sure she maintains it.
“As an entrepreneur, you ensure that your business thrives or fails because you have the power to do that.”