Small and Medium enterprises have huge potential to create long lasting economic value to the country due to the ability of these businesses to cater for the everyday needs of the larger part of our population. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, there are more than 17 million SMEs registered in Kenya with 98 per cent of them contributing about 25 per cent of the country’s GDP and employing up to 50 per cent of Kenya’s workforce.
Over 9,000 small and medium businesses are set to benefit from a business empowerment programme rolled out by Barclays Kenya as part of the bank’s effort to accelerate growth in the SME sector.
— Barclays Bank Kenya (@Barclays_Kenya) August 9, 2018
The programme features engagement forums with SMEs across 7 counties with a focus on four key pillars namely Business Performance Management, Access to Market, Business Knowledge and Skills and Mentorship and Networking. The objective is to empower entrepreneurs with the resources they need to improve the performance of their businesses and achieve their ambitions.
“This is in recognition of the important role the sector plays in the development of the economy.
SMEs are well positioned to intervene in the developmental challenges that we face in our country, they play a key role of creating jobs and ultimately reducing poverty, and as a bank our focus is to engage them so that they realise this potential and increase their capacity to produce and contribute fully to the economy,” said Susan Situma, Head of SME, Barclays Bank of Kenya.
The programme, dubbed ‘SMEs in Conversation’, will be rolled out across 7 major towns including Meru, Nyeri, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisii, Kisumu and Mombasa over the next two months. The sessions will feature training workshops, networking opportunities and mentorship and coaching sessions.
The bank has partnered with other like-minded organizations including the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry, ShapeAfrika, Lanex International and Wylde International to enrich the programme.
“Over the last few years, we have connected more than 7,000 members to trade opportunities in over than 10 countries including United Kingdom, Japan, China, Dubai, USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, India and Thailand. Over KES3 Billion worth of transactions have been conducted,” Ms Situma said.