Getting Value Out of the Registered Trademarks
Phase 2: Getting Value out of the Registered Trademarks by Women Entrepreneurs in Uganda for Business Development.
In Uganda’s Economy, trademark registration comes in handy for startups of small and medium enterprises. A business enterprise needs to provide consumers with a memorable positive impression and impactful experience in its brand communication. How a business positions itself in the marketplace determines its brand value; Branding should be one of the core aspects of a business strategy in order to achieve a competitive edge.
According to research done by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published in August 2018, SMEs account 90% of the private sector. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been identified as the engine of growth of the Ugandan economy spread across all sectors such as the service sector, commerce and trade, and manufacturing among others. So for an SME to have a trademark, it amounts to valuable customers who can turn the business into a source of economic growth.
Speaking of women entrepreneurs, the 2019 Master Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) ranks Uganda first in Africa at 38.2 percent of total business owners. This shows that women are becoming more aggressive to compete in the market towards contributing to the economic growth of the country to that of men which is a good sign of development.
According to LaConya Murray, Esq, when the recession hit in 2007 women took the devastating period as an opportunity to provide for their families while following their passions. Along with the increased number of female business owners came an increase in registered trademarks owned by women. The National Women’s Business Council commissioned a study in 2012 concerning women business owners and Intellectual Property, which produced promising results. According to the study, the number of women who successfully applied for trademark registration has doubled since 1980. While women once owned less than 17% of registered trademarks, that number has increased to 33%. These entrepreneurs have overcome the obstacles that impeded other women from protecting their brands, attracting more and more women into trademark registration.
Based on this, registration of trademarks for women entrepreneurs has now increased even in Uganda referring to the Women in Business (WIB) initiative which was launched in March 2021, where the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) & Grooming a Successful Woman with Intellectual Mind (GSWIM) came into a collaboration to mentor women entrepreneurs into; “Intellectual Property for Branding and Product Development” For this program, women were trained to develop their business ideas into concrete businesses and registration of trademarks. Over 70 women entrepreneurs have been mentored and registered trademarks.
However, there is still a gap in commercializing the registered trademarks of the women entrepreneurs who have succeeded through the mentorship program to make a concrete impact on how the practical use of IP can create wealth through the successful establishment of SMEs and questions have been arising on how these women entrepreneurs are going to be able to benefit from their Trademarks after acquiring them since most of them are still in the process of establishing into the market. This has raised a need for an extension of the program to phase 2; which is the use of Trademarks by women entrepreneurs in Uganda for generating product value and economic growth where women entrepreneurs are to be mentored in business development, product marketing tools, IP audits, IP portfolio management, commercialization strategies, brand extension and finally forming of an IP women entrepreneurs club which is going to be a source of inspiration to other women entrepreneurs where the project is going to be replicated at the same time a train the trainer approach is formed to share successful business stories after acquiring a trademark. For this, we are looking at women entrepreneurs making a solid impact that is inspirational and educative to other women entrepreneurs in Uganda and other LDCs not just acquiring trademarks but bringing out the real value of IP as a business tool for growth and development.
The project would also support the establishment of a networking forum/organization for women entrepreneurs, which would provide future opportunities to gain critical skills, share experiences and establish connections.
THE 2rd PHASE OF THE WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS PROJECT:
The project will focus on supporting women who have acquired trademarks through the project; Intellectual Property for branding and Product development for women entrepreneurs to generate value out of their products & services for economic growth. The project outcomes will include business value addition, identification of new local & export markets, the establishment of business premises, business expansion, and general business growth. In summation all this, building a recognized brand in both local and international markets.
BLOODWORTH TRADEMARK PRODUCT
OYEFLO TRADEMARK PRODUCTS
DAMAZ HANDS TRADEMARK PRODUCTS
Enhanced IP knowledge for business development and improved unique market skills amongst women who acquired trademarks resulting in economic benefits such as product value addition and increased market access for their products.
Utilizing a trademark for commercial value results into business development.
NESWO TRADEMARK PRODUCTS
SHD TRADEMARK PRODUCT
LIVEN TRADEMARK PRODUCTS
MCSC TRADEMARK PRODUCT