More than a year ago, parliament proposed a new bill named the Startup Bill, 2021 which aims at making the field a little more favourable for startups to thrive in Kenya.
As of today, the Kenya Senate has approved the bill, which means it can now progress to the next stage. According to Senator Sakaja, who proposed the bill, the proposal received 34 nods and zero objections at the Senate.
The bill seeks to provide a framework that fosters a culture of innovative thinking and entrepreneurship. The proposal has also been developed to detail the process of registration of startups and provide a framework for linkage of startups with the private sector, financial institutions, investors, and research organizations.
The bill also has a lot of other benefits;
- Facilitate the provision of fiscal and non-fiscal support to startups in Kenya;
- Provide a framework that promotes an enabling environment for the establishment, development, conduct of business and regulation of startups;
- The establishment of incubation facilities at the National and county levels of government;
- Establish an environment that promotes the establishment of startups; and
- Monitoring and evaluation of the legal and regulatory framework to encourage the development of startups.
That’s not all: according to the proposed act, the Kenya National Innovation Agency will be tasked with the registration of startups under the Startup Bill, 2020.
It further details the role of the Registrar of Startups, who will keep an updated database of all registered startups, register and supervise startups registered under this Act to ensure compliance with the provisions of the bill, and keep all documents and records of registered startups, to mention a few.
It’s also important to note that the bill has since been revised to the Startup Bill, 2021, and not 2020 as earlier reported.
The Kenya National Innovation Agency and executive committee members can initiate measures to support the establishment and growth of startups by subsidizing their formalization and facilitating the protection of IP of innovation by local startups and support in terms of research.
The proposal has detailed guidelines for certification of incubators, withdrawal from an incubation program, and obligations of an incubator, among other features.