How Kenyan SMEs Can Get Easy Access To Markets

Small startups will now have an easy access to markets, capacity building strategies for their growth and expansion, and support in advocacy for a more nurturing environment

This follows the launch of Business Growth Programme (BGP) 2017 by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

Speaking during the launch, KAM Chairperson Ms Flora Mutahi said that SMEs are a huge untapped resource for the economy, and there is need to leverage the sector by building their capacity; through creating linkages and developing a sub contracting framework.

“SMEs are the backbone of the Kenyan Economy and they are expected to play a prominent role in job creation. Yet out of 7.4 million SMEs in the country only 1.6million aree licensed. Formalization of businesses by SMEs in this country is a daunting task because the systems are not accommodating and may even seem punitive. We must correct this!

 KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga during the launch of BGP 2017 In a Nairobi Hotel

The value of the SMEs output is 33.8 per cent of the national output. SMEs face a relatively higher cost of capital than larger firms and more credit rationing due to the absence of collateral. We can create a more SME friendly environment by lifting obstacles, enhancing flexibility and access to finance and international markets,” added Ms. Mutahi.

What BGP 2017 Contains

The Business Growth Programme will equip these enterprises with the required management systems and processes to secure their markets and thrive. It will further allow participants to develop their concrete business growth strategies, and formulate structures for implementation. BGP consists of seven modules including financial and human resource management, market design and strategic supply chain management, among others.

Partnering in this programme, Trademark East Africa Business Director, Ms. Waturi Matu said that they will continue to support efforts by the government and business community towards developing SME friendly policies. She cited recurring challenges faced by SMEs such as power outages, access to water and high crime rates are what limit their success factor.

The value of  SMEs output is 33.8 per cent of the national output. SMEs face a relatively higher cost of capital than larger firms and more credit rationing due to the absence of collateral’s. We can create a more SME friendly environment by lifting obstacles, enhancing flexibility and access to finance and international markets,”

Financing SMEs

Present at the launch was the Kenya Bankers Association representative, Mr Andrew Githaiga  who stated that an increase in finances provided for SME, from 190 million to about 203 million, is a sure sign that the growth of SMEs remains a banking priority.

“17% of a bank’s portfolio goes to SMEs. Though they have a 70% failure rate, within 3 years, banking is committed to helping the growth of SMEs. Corruption, unfair competition and changes in technology are some of the causes of business failure and developed the Inuka Enterprise to aid SMEs increase productivity and output,” added Mr Githaiga.

Read Also: 5 Pillars To Drive Kenyas Manufacturing Sector Forward in 2017

KAM CEO Ms Phyllis Wakiaga added that the purpose of the BGP is to create growth oriented enterprises. She noted that through the program, KAM will be able to facilitate and enable support to these businesses, that have specific sector issues.

“There is no future for industry without SMEs. They are creating more jobs than even the private sector. BGP is to make the SME sector more vibrant. We want to create inclusive, innovative and competitive business growth. Inclusive growth is important, it can be done by scaling up SMEs, to grow to bigger companies” concluded Ms. Wakiaga.

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