The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) in partnership with Invest In Africa (IIA) held a Private Sector Stakeholders – Scale Up Kenya breakfast meeting on “Sustainable Partnerships to Scaling Up SMEs”.
Speaking during the event, KEPSA Chairman, Nick Nesbitt applauded Invest In Africa and other players in the SME development sector, pointing out the importance of SMEs in the economy. “According to statistics, MSME’s contribute about 34% to GDP and account for over 90% of all established businesses, employing nearly 85% of Kenya’s workforce,” he said.
Nick Nesbitt also expressed optimism that Kenya will improve in this year’s Doing Business Index ranking from current position 80 an indication of an improved environment for business especially SMEs to thrive. He further pointed out that Kenya is an innovative nation hence the need to embrace technology in businesses as well as keep innovating and leverage on technologies such as blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and e-commerce. IIA Country Manager, Wangechi Muriuki praised the partnership with KEPSA as a stepping stone towards scaling SMEs by opening up more opportunities from the private sector.
“ We have so far recruited and validated 1,800 SMEs on the platform, posted 110 tenders from 10 buyers and supported 21,000 jobs. We are therefore calling for more support in order to achieve an even greater impact to SMEs and the economy at large“ she said.
Invest In Africa plans to link SMEs to tenders worth 1 billion shillings and create 25,000 jobs by 2020. As the collective voice of the private sector in Kenya, KEPSA serves as a bridge within the business community in creating and enhancing a conducive business environment. Invest In Africa, on the other hand, is working to enhance SME access to skills, markets and finance in partnership with both leading organizations in Kenya in order to drive job creation and enterprise development in the economy.
IIA has built a unique, world-class online technology platform – The African Partner Pool (APP) that directly connects SMEs with larger organizations sourcing for goods and services locally and also offers capacity building to enable address existing skill and knowledge gaps. Businesses have been urged to visit the APP platform to help them get access to a large pool of already pre-vetted suppliers.