Nakuru County, Stanbic Kenya Foundation, German Cooperation boosts MSMEs
Written by Jeremy Ogolla
Nakuru County is committed to providing opportunities for the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector to grow especially through the provision of a conducive environment for ease of doing business and holding capacity-building training.
Today, Cooperatives and Enterprise Chief Officer, Martin Kagai led various stakeholders in celebrating the graduation of 200 entrepreneurs in Nakuru County who have gone through a one-week capacity-building training, through a program dubbed ‘’the MSME resilience program’’.
Mr Kagai said there are a lot of opportunities the County administration has created under the leadership of H.E Governor Susan Kihika that will see the MSMEs sector thrive. This, he pointed out, is by building synergy with the National Government, as well as the private sector and other development partners to empower the players in the sector.
“Once the Nakuru Enterprise Fund is launched, it is going to be an easy fund where you will just need the business permit and an account, or a mobile money Account to access the fund,’’ said Mr Kagai.
Facilitated through workshops, participants of the program have been trained in Business resilience, Digital sales and marketing, financial management, people management, access to markets and new value chains as well as legal and compliance requirements.
The Program was implemented in partnership with the County Government of Nakuru, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and training service providers.
To further exacerbate the growth of the sector, Kagai said the County is also planning to partner with other Counties to see the harmonization of the levying of inter-county fees for goods being transported into or through the counties which restricts the free movement of goods and services across the country and acts as a barrier to trade within the common market in the country.
According to CO, the County is also working round the clock to see how to improve the MSMEs database which aims to help the County administration to improve its effectiveness and efficiency in dealing with the MSMEs thereby enabling the achievement of transparency while offering better services to the entrepreneurs.
Head and Executive Director of Stanbic Kenya Foundation, Pauline Mbayah said in addition to the training, they have had 37 MSMEs enterprises from the tourism to the hospitality sector that have received funding.
“MSMEs are the largest contributors to the country’s workforce and generate a substantial part of the country’s GDP. Nakuru County is one of the Counties that have benefited from the program, the impact that the program has had goes beyond the training and financing,’’ said Pauline.
She said Stanbic Kenya Foundation is working to tackle the vulnerability of the MSMEs to economic shock by supporting their capacity building across different counties in the country. Launched in 2021, we have received positive feedback from participants of the program in Nakuru and look forward to seeing these enterprises boost the county’s local economy as well as that of its neighbours.
Thomas Jaeschke, Head of the E4D Programme in Kenya said supporting businesses to refine their strategies, access new markets and financing as well as strengthen their capacity to innovate and align with changes brought on by COVID-19 are building blocks towards ensuring the sustainability of the businesses and employment creation…
Most of the businesses presented during the event spoke about how they have expanded, created employment and even amongst themselves how they have been able to network.
Their success stories in business epitomise the lives of those who can thrive in business due to a conducive environment created by the County administration.
Through a resilient, buoyed by conducive business environment, Jim Jey now runs a barbershop in Nakuru Central business district (CBD) where he employs more than 30 people, thanks to financial support from the Stanbic Bank and a conducive business environment created by County Administration.
‘’Our business here in Nakuru is thriving, and now we are eying to open branches in other counties and soon we will be tapping into the regional market,’’ said Mr. Jim.
Located in one of the tallest buildings in Nakuru City, Jim Jey Barbershop now plans to carve a niche in the training sector where it proposes to open a barbershop training college that will see many youths sharpen their talents. Through its Corporate Social Responsibility program, Jim provides free services to street children every Sunday.
Another beneficiary is, Miss Sofi Yugo, who runs a community-based organization to support her fellow women.
‘’Through the program, I am able to train fellow women how to make wigs, do tailoring and make key holders. To see our business growth, we are requesting for a digital marketing platform,” said Yugi.
Director in-charge of Corporate Services, Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA), Simon Nyamolo said the MSMEs sector is a multi-million-strong sector that needs capacity building expressing optimism that the training goes a long way in preparing the participants for access to finances as well.
‘’We believe that if you can replicate what has happened here in Nakuru County to all other counties especially the provision of funds to the MSMEs, harmonisation of levies and promotion of intercounty trading, then this sector will be able to thrive,” said Mr Simeon.
The Program, which was launched in 2022, is aimed at accelerating business recovery and growth of small enterprises post the COVID-19 Pandemic.