The 9th edition of the Top 100 mid-sized company voluntary survey started this week with the aim of ensuring that firms stay profitable in business. The theme this year is: ‘Staying ahead of the competition in the evolving economic environment’, with final results expected in November.

Any company can participate with the exception of banks, insurance, and financial firms as long as it meets the set criteria. The annual survey, which is increasingly becoming important in the lives of Ugandan entrepreneurs, was launched in 2009 by both Monitor Publications and KPMG.

Sponsored by dfcu Bank, South African Airways, together with its founders, this year’s survey targets companies with an annual turnover of Shs360m to Shs25b. It seeks to identify Uganda’s fastest growing companies in order to showcase excellence and highlight some of the country’s most successful entrepreneurship stories.

Speaking during the launch of the 2017 survey at dfcu Bank headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday, Mr Tony Glencross, the Monitor Publications managing director, said entrepreneurs need skills that will grow their companies. For Mr Benson Ndung’u, the KPMG Uganda country head, the last nine years of the survey have seen participating companies improve their governance; secure better financing options, and become sustainable.

Small and mid-sized companies constitute the biggest market segment in Uganda’s economy; employing many people, yet have often failed to have solid support.

Others suffer grave challenges and toil with exorbitant operational costs as they struggle to grow. Therefore, mid-sized companies need all the support they can get; and this is why all target entrepreneurs must take part in this survey. Last year, 286 enterprises participated with agriculture, retail and construction dominating the survey.

Organisers should expect the numbers to surge this year, as previous participants have reported that after the survey they attracted good talent, improved governance and got higher profits.

Planners should, therefore, do more to serve the participants better than before. We think, as a business person, you should get your company on board in this year’s exercise because there will be forums discussing and identifying issues that affect doing business but also seek to find workable solutions. The sponsors must also aim at taking this survey to all communities across the country for a wider business audience to benefit.

These companies are owned by Ugandans either directly or indirectly, and serve the interests of the larger communities through production of goods and provision of jobs; and must therefore be supported by government and the entire citizenry.