Business support, collaboration, internal firm capabilities, awareness and access to procurement opportunities by small and medium enterprises in Uganda: A study of Kampala SMEs
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The study focused on examining the relationship between business support, collaboration, internal firm capabilities, awareness and access to procurement opportunities of SMEs in Kampala. The case of SMEs was selected for the study following concerns that a minimal proportion consistently accessed public procurement opportunities and others did not. A sample of 282 SMEs from Kampala was used to obtain data from the study and a cross sectional survey design was used. Data were analyzed using SPSS with a focus on descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, regressions analysis and ANOVA tests. Results showed strong significant relationships between the study variables with business support being a stronger predictor of internal firm capabilities, awareness to access to procurement opportunities than collaboration. The findings also indicate that business support, collaboration, internal firm capabilities, awareness predict 27.8% of SMEs’ access to public procurement opportunities; other predictors of access were outside the scope of this study. It was concluded that it is necessary to diversify the sources of business support and harness collaboration with larger public sector firms to increase firm capabilities, awareness and overall access to procurement opportunities. Several recommendations were proposed among which include; Regulation for the SME sector like the public sector; Implementation the cluster based policies for SMEs by PPDAA and professional groups recognizing their contribution to business support among others.