Kenya wants to become East Africa’s manufacturing hub for the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by fostering their growth through access to finance, markets and capacity development.
This will be achieved from the Manufacturing SME Hub launched by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).
The Hub seeks to address the challenges affecting SMEs in the country including unfriendly policies and regulatory regime, tedious and lengthy process in quality standards and certifications, access to markets, access to affordable finance and poor governance structures.
“The Government is keen on growing SMEs as demonstrated by the Government’s directive for relevant ministries to devise SME – specific strategies to unlock the potential for small businesses in the country,” said Dr. Eng. Karanja Kibicho, State Department of Interior Principal Secretary.
He said the government has created a one-stop shop to hasten registration of SMEs that contribute about 30% to Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employ more than 16 million people.
Ms. Betty Maina, State Department of Industry Principal Secretary, noted that the MSME Sector plays a crucial role in driving the growth of the economy.
“The government is keen on promoting the growth of SMEs by focusing on formalizing the informal segment of the SME Sector through the promotion and simplification for business start-up operations, promoting access to finance and markets,” said Ms. Maina.
Speaking during the launch, KAM Chairman, Mr. Sachen Gudka noted that they are keen on supporting the development of inclusive, innovative, sustainable and competitive SME Sector in Kenya and in the region.
“In line with the Association’s core mandate, the Hub will focus on furthering fact-based advocacy to promote the global competitiveness of manufacturing SMEs.
The KAM SME Hub will also offer incubation services, acceleration services and scale up services to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises respectively.
SMEs with less than Ksh 20 million in turnover will be eligible for membership in the hub, and benefit from innovative credit schemes, training and exposure to new markets.