KEPSA pushes for formalizing informal segment for small businesses

KEPSA pushes for formalizing of  informal segment for small businesses

The Kenya Private Sector Association (KEPSA) now wants formalisation of the informal segment for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through promotion and simplification of the process of registering to accelerate its growth.

They have said this will ease access to wider resources and markets and ultimately make them profitable at local and regional levels.

The sector is estimated to have 80 percent of unlicensed businesses owing to the huge costs of compliance from the different government institutions.

Speaking during the launch of the SMEs Blue Page organized by the SME Support Center, KEPSA Gender and Small and Medium Enterprises Eva Muraya said the support accorded to the sector will scale up their entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa using simple, localized, and sustainable solutions.

“As the importance of the SME sector gets more recognized by all stakeholders, there is a deliberate and positive action to support this sector as reflected in the numerous initiatives and the increased spending on SME support. An informed SME ecosystem that is well networked and aware of the hundreds of opportunities in terms of support and business that are available will thrive and contribute substantially to job creation and the development of the economy,” said Muraya.

The looby group has challenged the stakeholders to adopt digital marketplace ecosystems to ensure business continuity amidst the uncertainties of a pandemic.

KEPSA boasted of training at least  2,500 SMEs on digital skills and building capacity to operate in the digital market space.

With financing presenting a challenge to the survival of small businesses Chief Executive SME support Center Linda Onyango appealed to banks, financial institutions and leasing companies to scale-up special lending windows and have special SME desks to facilitate access to credit.

“Recent statistics show that local banks have been lending more to the government at the expense of SMEs. It is easier and safer to lend to the government but how helpful is that to the economy. SMEs of today are the unicorns of tomorrow. Unlicensed and unregistered businesses cannot access credit facilities, investment or bulk orders,” Onyango said.

The 2016 Micro Small and Medium Enterprise survey estimated that there were about 1.56 million MSMEs licensed by the 47 county governments, and 5.85 million unlicensed businesses, making for a total of 7.41 million micro, small and medium businesses.

KEPSA also called for SMEs to embrace new technologies to advocate for a future and responsive policy environment that can promote both consumers and employees.

To power micro and small businesses in the country, Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Chief Operating  Officer Patrick Nyanweso emphasized on the creation of incubation hubs to resolve issues on product design, innovation, and patents.

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