The Kenya national Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) in collaboration with the Nation Media Group (NMG), Ministry of Co-operatives & MSME Development , Ministry of Investments ,Trade and Industry and the Micro & Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) have jointly organized The 4th Edition of the SMEs Conference & Expo that kicked off this morning at the KICC grounds.
The three- day exhibition and conference commenced today 15th March to 17th March under the theme ‘Accelerating the MSMEs growth through adoption of technology and innovation ‘, the conference will provide a platform to articulate issues affecting SMEs by taking part in discussions, opinions and policies for the growth and development of the SME sector.
The KNCCI Chief Executive Officer Mr. Patrick Nyangweso officiated the morning program, in his welcoming remarks appreciated all the key players in organizing the conference noting that SMEs are important actors in the national transition process, as they play a crucial role in fostering income equality and enhancing economic development.
He highlighted that private sector encourages policies to support better business environment and regulatory issues, promote entrepreneurship, innovation initiatives i.e digital economy for the growth and betterment of the SMEs.
The Chamber President Mr. Richard Ngatia being the Chief Guest highlighted that Kenya has been actively promoting the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through various initiatives, including the establishment of digital hubs and innovation centers. He noted that its important to create an enabling environment that supports digital businesses in Kenya. This will not only create jobs and economic opportunities but also contribute to the development of a vibrant and innovative digital ecosystem.
As a country, we have made tremendous strides in creating an enabling environment for SMEs to thrive. However, there is still a lot that needs to be done to support the growth and development of SMEs in Kenya.
KNCCI is undertaking a couple of initiatives to support SMEs such as ;
- Offering business development services to SMEs, including training, mentorship, and business advisory. The services are designed to equip SMes with the knowdlege and skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive business environment.
- KNCCI is also working closely with financial institutions to develop financing solutions that are accessible and affordable for SMEs.
KNCCI has also taken several steps to support (SMEs) in digital innovation.
- The ICC Centre for Entrepreneurship in Nairobi is a project of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and aims to support the growth and development of entrepreneurs in Kenya, we target to have 100,000 MSMEs in Kenya
- Digital Training; KNCCI has provided digital training to SMEs by collaborating with tech companies to offer digital literacy training to SMEs, helping them to improve their online presence and effectively leverage digital tools to grow their businesses. Example is ISOKO, ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship
- Digital platforms: KNCCI has created digital platforms to connect SMEs with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders., “iSOKO Kenya”
KNCCI National Director, Mr. Pravin S. Eazhawa represented the organization in a panel discussion under the topic “SME transformation and digital economy”. Mr. Pravin highlighted on the evolution of technology since 1972 noting that the there has been growth in the uptake and usage of techonology by large organizations. SMEs in Kenya are gradually taking up the digital space however; the adoption is majorly in urban areas and urged the government to work together with the private sector to trickle down the services to rural areas to enhance the digital space countrywide.
The Event was attended by NMG Group Chief Executive Officer Mr. Stephen Gitagama , The Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations, CEO Mr. Richard Muteti .
The Exhibiting companies are; Kenya Industrial Estates, Kenic,Stima Sacco, Bank of Baroda(K)Ltd , I Choose Life,Tally Solutions, Thika Cloth Mills Limited, the Star Discover Insurance, Simpet Global Logistics Ltd, Kerio Valley Development Authority, Scalestech, Bandari Sacco Ltd, Ikomali, Minet, Capex Life Assurance
KNCCI appreciates all the exhibitors, participants for being part of the 4th Edition of the SMEs Conference and Expo 2023