Over 25 owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have completed the Enterprise Development Programme, earning a certificate.
This programme was initiated last year through a collaboration between NCBA and Strathmore Business School. The 16-week course, which spans various economic sectors, is tailored to address and resolve the issues and challenges faced by SMEs. The initial cohort was comprised of business owners with an annual turnover of KES.3 million, a minimum of three employees, and at least three years in business.
Tirus Mwithiga, the Group Director of Retail Banking at NCBA, reaffirmed NCBA’s commitment to Kenya’s economic growth, which motivated their partnership with Strathmore Business School to support their SME customers in expanding their businesses. As a bank, NCBA provides financial assistance to their customers to facilitate payments.
Dr. Majid Twahir, the Associate Dean of Research and Innovation at Strathmore University Business School, highlighted the university’s dedication to empowering SMEs in Kenya and beyond. He stated that as an entrepreneurial university, Strathmore University is deeply invested in fostering the growth of SMEs, recognizing their crucial role in supporting households, promoting innovation, and creating numerous employment opportunities.
Throughout the 16-week programme, the graduates participated in custom-made courses designed specifically to address and resolve the challenges faced by SMEs. They were introduced to locally developed business case studies, equipping them with the tools and skills necessary to identify and seize business opportunities, establish socially responsible and viable businesses, and promote successful entrepreneurship in the region.
During the graduation ceremony, NCBA and Strathmore University Business School announced their plans to further strengthen their partnership through the Owner Manager Programme (OMP), a programme designed for mid-sized companies in East Africa.
Mwithiga discussed the programme, highlighting the strategic partnership with Lagos Business School in Nigeria, which will facilitate the exchange of ideas between entrepreneurs in East Africa and West Africa.
To qualify for the OMP Programme, an individual must be a Founder, CEO, Shareholder, or Managing Director of a business that has been operational for over five years, with an annual turnover of KES 50 million and a workforce of over 20 employees.
The programme is thoughtfully structured to accommodate the participants’ busy schedules, divided into four modules, each running for five days per quarter in March, May, June, and October.
According to Forbes, SMEs in West Africa constitute up to 90% of businesses and contribute 40% to the region’s GDP. Facilitating networking between the two regions will enhance innovation and economic integration, which are crucial for developing countries. This collaboration will also streamline and expand trade within the regions and promote regional stability.
Both programmes underscore NCBA’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of SMEs in Kenya and across East Africa by providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge for long-term success. NCBA’s focus is on creating an environment conducive to business growth.