Entrepreneurs and manufacturers have called on to the Kenyan Government to make the ecosystem in the country. This was during the Manufacturing SMEs Convention, hosted by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).
The SMEs used the opportunity to discuss with the decision makers in the government who could make the ecosystem more friendly to SMEs.
Speaking during the forum, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Cooperatives and Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises, Simon Chelugui, said that Kenya has already developed programs and initiatives to support SMEs over the years, but their potential is yet to be fully untapped.
“We have approximately 7.5 million MSMEs in Kenya, contributiong approximately 30% to the GDP. 85% of MSMEs are in the informal economy. With the right policies and regulations as well as an enabling environment, they shall be better positioned to grow into large companies. As government, we continue to prioritize their development, through initiatives such as the Hustlers Fund, as they are critical to realizing the Bottom-Up Economic Plan. To ease service delivery for enterprises, we have established incubation centers in 35 countries,” Chelugui said in his speech at the forum.
On his part, KAM Chair, Rajan Shah said that SMEs provide enormous opportunities for socio-economic transformation of our country’s economy.
“By providing a space where manufacturing SMEs are competitive, have access to regional and international markets, and maximize local agro-based inputs, then, they will have a ripple effect on the economy. Subsequently, accelerate the realization of our goal to increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP from the current 7.2% to 20% by 2030,” Rajan said.
He further appreciated the fact that stakeholders are progressively dismantling one-size-fits all approaches and finding more nuanced ways to intervene and uplift micro, small, and medium businesses.
Rajan also mentioned that KAM seeks to bring together all stakeholders in the SME ecosystem, which entails product development; market access; financial linkages; logistics and warehousing; regulatory compliance; and corporate governance.
“Our focus shall be on creating a favourable environment for SMEs to flourish and ensure that they are at the centre of the discourse on matters development,” he noted.
The SME Convention brought together Manufacturing SMEs, the Ministry of Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises; Ministry of Trade, Investments and Industry; and various government agencies.