Programme to boost SMES in training, linkages and financial access launched

Over 1500 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from across the country are set to receive a boost in financial literacy training, market linkages, business networking and financial access through a newly launched empowerment programme.

The Inua Biashara programme brings together financial institutions, media houses, the national chamber of commerce and industry as well as learning institutions; it seeks to address the bottlenecks that many SMEs are facing due to the difficult business environment.

Zetech University Vice Chancellor Prof Njenga Munene whose institution is a key player in the programme said SMEs being a key pillar in the governments Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda need to be supported by all players in order to accelerate development.

Speaking during the launch of the programme at the institution yesterday, Prof Munene said the SMEs will be required to pitch their businesses and successful ones will be selected.

The sector players will help them in sourcing finances, market linkages providing access to a wider market, business networks, government services, investors, and sourcing raw materials.

“MSMEs are the backbone of the African economy, accounting for the majority of businesses and providing employment opportunities to millions of people. However, MSMEs in Africa face several challenges that limit their growth and development,” he said.

He said the MSMEs face challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, lack of technology and innovation, weak regulatory frameworks, limited access to markets, and limited access to finance.

Juliet Kimemia said the sector Lead, Trade and investment at KNCCI said more SMEs from various counties will be roped into the programme that will run for the next four years.

She called on the youth who run SME to embrace the opportunity as it will bring them at par with other entrepreneurs and also have their challenges addressed.

“Use your mobile phones and take advantage of the expanded ICT internet coverage to research and come up with profitable start-ups. Also, ICT will help you understand business expansion,” she said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Grace Imeeinza, a Representative of Homeboys Group who said the programme is modified for the youth in SME.

By Our Reporter

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