Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) breath life to the economy of majority of developing and emerging economies across the globe.
In Africa, and particularly Kenya SMEs have sent a promising trajectory in creating jobs, contributing to the country’s GDP, facilitating industrial development, sustaining local demand for services, innovating and supporting a range of large firms with inputs and services.
Even as Kenya positions itself to tap into the SME’s basket of goodies, there are critical observations we can confidently take home in this discourse.
The 2017 Doing Business in Kenya report, argues that the ease with which businesses can be registered has a bearing on the number of entrepreneurs who start businesses in the formal sector. This eventually contributes to a spur in job creation and increased government revenue.
While speaking at a past SME Financing Africa Forum, Central bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge noted that about 46 per cent of SMEs in Kenya close shop within a year of founding, while another 15 per cent in the subsequent year.
The CBK boss stated that part of the issue is that the SMEs in that bracket fail to solve big enough problems in the market. He conveyed that it was time to invest more in research.
He said: “SMEs fail for not solving for a large enough need in their market anchored on a not deep enough understanding of their customer needs. Time to invest more in research and entrepreneurship driven by needs resolution.”
Quoting the Deloitte Kenya Economic Outlook 2016 report, Kenyan SMEs are hindered by inadequate capital, limited market access, deprived and unsupportive infrastructure, inadequate knowledge and skills and rapid changes in technology. Besides, corruption and an unfavorable regulatory environment creep in to add more disharmony to the sector.
Barclays Bank in conversation with SMEs from Nyeri County
It is with this understanding that Barclays Bank Kenya engaged with SME customers in Nyeri County on Tuesday 14th August.
The event is just one among SMEs in Conversation engagements that are being undertaken by the bank across seven counties countrywide.
Barclays Bank Kenya seeks to deliberately institute solutions mechanisms to concerns within the Nyeri County SMEs around four pillars:
1.Growing clients’ businesses,
2.Increasing business knowledge among the SMEs’ primary handlers
It is evident that Barclays Bank Kenya is stretching its muscles to newer but significant levels in reviving the SMEs pride that is fairly delicate.
Being an integral sector in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda, engaging SMEs valuably as such is a great milestone that needs to be replicated not just in the country but also across the region.
Nyeri based SMEs can now grasp this opportunity for their own good even after the president pledged his Administration’s commitment to partner with the youth and open up a path for their energy and optimism.
It’s about time to partner with one friend willing to remain loyal to serve better, embrace change and sacrifices, offering audience and providing solutions that fit the needs of their clients in this devolved units, Barclays Bank of Kenya.
Featured Image: Barclays Bank Kenya head of SME sales John Achoki takes lead in the Tuesday 14th Nyeri County SME conversation.