The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) hosted the Central Region SME business forum and expo at the Thika Technical College, Kiambu County geared towards showcasing SMEs in the five counties namely: Nyandarua, Nyeri, Muranga, Kiambu and Kirinyaga.
During the event Chief Guest Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives Peter Munya announced that Kenya will this coming week commence the first direct sales of coffee to the United States in the state of Nebraska. He added that the government was in the final stages of creating an SME fund to be controlled by Micro and Small Enterprises Authority. The SME fund to be rolled out by January 2020 will start with an initial budget of Kes 2B and will be accessed via biashara centers. The government is also working on the credit guarantees scheme to enable SMEs access finance from banks with no collateral. On constituency industrial centers the CS said the government will roll out 35 centers in December and another 100 in the next 100 days after the national launch
The Kiambu Governor Nyoro in his speech emphasized on the need to create employment through enabling a 24 hour economy and reopening collapsed industries such as the bacon factory in Uplands, Kiambu which he said the county government was in the process of refurbishing and is expected to be reopened in the next 9 months.
Chamber President Richard Ngatia highlighted the numerous achievements the Chamber has seen in the past 100 days including the improved relations with the government and development partners which he said have seen many benefits extended to SMEs. He emphasized the importance of value addition of crops that grow in the Central Kenya region so as to ensure they fetch better prices in the market. He also called on the national and county government to restore the Nairobi Nanyuki railway line so as to ease transportation of goods.
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