Employing over 2.5 million people, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the key driver of growth for Uganda’s economy. However, due to disruptions in the supply chain, travel restrictions, and changing work conditions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, the SME sector was threatened to reduce company activity and financial security. 

Stanbic Bank and Stanbic Business Incubator Limited have offered a variety of innovative products and services to assist entrepreneurs in addressing these challenges during the crisis and continues to do so.

Stanbic Bank partnered with ConsumerCentriX on the Covid-19 Business Info Hub in May 2020 to deliver much-needed information and solutions for Ugandan enterprises coping with the financial effects of the pandemic.

Site Objective

The Covid-19 Business Info Hub serves as a consolidated platform for Stanbic to share these responsive activities with corporate clients in Uganda.

The digital platform’s purpose is to overcome information asymmetry by creating a centralised site for MSMEs to learn about new laws, regulations, support systems, and product innovations emerging in response to the crisis, as well as critical financial advice and business training. The site’s objective is to become a trusted resource for all Ugandan entrepreneurs seeking business information and relevant training courses.

Raising Awareness

With over 53,600 website views and 38,380 visitors since inception, Facebook and Instagram profiles were also launched to further disseminate information through paid advertising.

Starting with zero followers, the Covid-19 Business Info Hub social media has grown to over 9,350 followers and had content displayed over 8,400,000 times to users by March 2022.

Perhaps more important than the followers and impressions can be considered the community it has become, with over 224,900 engagements, where SMEs reacted, commented, asked questions, and interact with the content.

Visit the Covid-19 Business Info Hub 

Key Learnings

Now 2 years later, here are some of the main key learnings from this initiative:

  • Videos and animations are essential for engaging with SMEs. Out of the top 3 most engaged Facebook posts, 2 were video animations including tips for their business and testimonials from other entrepreneurs.
  • Facebook has been the most successful platform in engaging with entrepreneurs. However, other platforms such as Search Engines have been supported organically to increase outreach. By creating content on trendy topics and optimizing it has led to an increase in Search Engine Referrals.  This demonstrates the platform’s value by offering much-needed support that entrepreneurs have been actively searching for.
  • Women need to be specifically targeted to reach gender parity. On average, women’s visitors account for x% of total visitors. In order to support women entrepreneurs through their additional challenges and reduce gender parity in terms of website views, it is critical to create content for women entrepreneurs and specifically target them through Facebook promotion. Moreover, when creating targeted promotions, we have seen a decrease in bounce rates and improvement in time spent per page, showing that the website content resonates with the audience and meets their needs.
  • Website views and visitors are closely correlated to the release and promotion of new pieces. Weekly analyses of traffic demonstrate that it is vital to publish new materials and advertise as often as possible to drive visits to the portal and keep up to date with trends.
  • Partners are critical in bringing new perspectives and content development. Most viewed pieces are those referring to Stanbic Bank. Moreover, they are crucial in content distribution and expanding outreach via WhatsApp and their data bases.