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I Started The Lead Firm Project To Benefit Everyone in The Value Chain - Francis Kisirinya.

Private Sector Foundation Deputy Executive Director (PSFU) Francis Kisirinya said that in a bid to overcome most of the challenges faced by Ugandan private businesses, he came up with a solution to boost job markets where value chain actors can produce and sell their goods and services and make profits from their enterprises.

The Lead Firm structure project is purposed to link all actors in the value chain and ensure increased consumption of goods and services.

He came up with the idea after his company which was also the first Ugandan biscuit company was faced with challenges such as unregulated competition, numerous taxes, and inferior technology.

“I remember when we were running our factory, we could sell products countrywide but whenever you loaded goods on a truck heading to say Masaka, the kind of roadblocks would be incredible. The traffic officer wants to make money off the goods, and the local council too. You reach the town and the moment you park, someone also comes because they want money,” Kisirinya recalled.

The charges cut into the profits in addition to other challenges such as repayment of loans which are inevitable in all Small Scale Medium Enterprises (SMEs) yet the interest rates are very high. From his experience import taxes and the small local markets due to the insufficient aggregate demand are the biggest challenges facing SMEs.

As Deputy Executive Director of the PSFU, during the last three years, he was tasked with creating programs to help local SMEs get market for their goods and services which he did by linking Multinational companies that have access to foreign and local markets to also buy and market the produce of the local producers.

“So I created the Lead Firm Structure Project / Lead Firm Approach which is a linkages firm approach that connects big businesses with small businesses and individuals. All of them work and benefit together, so they spread prosperity,” he said.

The project has so far been successful with partners such as the Master Card Foundation and seeks to employ 300,000 youths with decent salaries where an average worker will be earning 400,000 shillings per month under what is called Young Africa Works Strategy in Uganda.

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