Press Release

Kenya has seen a trend of increasing SMEs and Startups across the country, with the growing generation shifting to entrepreneurship. The government has promised to create an enabling ecosystem that supports startups to thrive amidst the prevailing economic conditions. However, government support does not trickle down to every player in the industry. This has triggered entrepreneurs and SMEs to initiate an association that will support their growth and development and against this backdrop, they have initiated an umbrella body dubbed United SMEs Association of Kenya which has been duly registered by Hon. Simon Chelugui’s headed Ministry of Co-operatives and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through its authority of Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA). According to the officials of the new association, plans are underway to launch its operations across the country as it embarks on the registration of new members and puts the necessary logistics in place to enable it to realize the set objectives. The officials said that the association will contribute to the policy-making process and ensure that the needs of small traders and entrepreneurs are considered in the formulation of policies and legislation. It will also advocate for change to ensure small and medium businesses can compete, survive and thrive through lobbying, advocacy, training and developing or encouraging the development of infrastructure (factory shells, incubation units, etc.) for the promotion of SMEs’ activities by coordinating with relevant local and international fora.

The officials said that they started the association to support small enterprises and entrepreneurs to grow and achieve their results as they create a network that will help members to develop world-class products, as well as develop effective marketing strategies to ensure they are able to sell their products, access to funding and securing a conducive playing field for the formation and growth of SMEs. United SMEs Association will play a significant role in lobbying for funding through a scheme they are set to launch later in the year dubbed SMEs Growth Enabling Fund (SGEF).

Jared Oundo, the Secretary-General and National Coordinator of the Association said “As we speak, SMEs are less likely to be able to obtain bank loans than large firms; instead, they rely on internal funds, or cash from friends and family to launch and initially run. A small industry can be set up with small capital and produce goods for domestic consumption using labor-intensive technology. SMEs play a significant role in the development and growth of various economies. SMEs are vital for world prosperity. The success of the SME sector will help the country to achieve Vision 2030 and face a competitive, dynamic, and challenging global environment. Collectively, SMEs are the largest employers and greatest creators of wealth. Through job and wealth creation, SMEs help alleviate poverty, which positively affects the fight against diseases. Therefore, SMEs hold the key to achieving national economic objectives of employment generation and poverty reduction at low investment costs and developing entrepreneurial capabilities, including indigenous technology.”

The members of the association members include the Nairobi Securities Exchange incubation program dubbed Ibuka Hostees such as the Regional leasing firm Vehicle and Equipment Leasing Ltd (VAELL), Myspace Properties, Certified Homes Ltd, the Mombasa based Masumali Meghji Insurance Brokers Ltd, Naveah Capital, Quipbank Trust Ltd, TingA Rental East Africa, Go Electric Ltd, EvChaja, 360 Group, Masai Cables, Digital Driving School, EM Properties Ltd, Jubilant Stewards of Africa, Sarma Enterprises Limited, Silk Mobile, Quantum Trailers Ltd, Gemal & Company (CPA-K), Ngamia Haulers Platform Ltd, Sayari Knest Developers, Snacks and Food Processor One Stop Enterprises.

“We have members across the country, and plans are underway to cross over boundaries because we want to promote the Kenyan entrepreneurial spirit beyond East Africa. We want our members to share knowledge and best practices and forge close ties with various stakeholders, including the government. Our focus is to create a platform for all actors and fight for a fair playing ground for all entrepreneurs irrespective of their tribe, race, skin color, bank account balances, religion, political affiliation, gender, age etc. We will achieve these despite the cost even if it involves going to court or through parliamentary legislation to save the economy that is now in a sorry state,” said Oundo a former vocal student leader who grew into a consultant and economic expert building on his skills in student leadership at Moi University and Nairobi University.

Commenting on the new SMEs lobby group, the Head of Operations at Vehicle and Equipment Leasing Limited (VAELL), Mr. Solomon Matheka, said, “This is a good initiative to support SMEs to grow. Almost every big company we know today began as an SME. SMEs globally have a very significant contribution to the provision of goods and services to society. Without SMEs, big companies may be unable to meet the demand for goods and services in an expanding customer base. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in most economies, particularly in developing countries. SMEs account for most businesses worldwide and contribute to job creation and global economic development. They represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide. Formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of emerging economies’ national income (GDP). It is a matter of time before we grow SMEs into big entities and create more employment.”

“We are delighted to join a team of like-minded players who believe in SMEs’ significant role in this country. SMEs ensure access to infrastructural facilities, stimulate economic activities such as suppliers of various items and distributive trades for items produced, and enhance the employees’ standard of living. They are important for poverty reduction as they employ poor and low-income workers. Sometimes they are the only source of employment in rural areas and poor regions,” said Hasnain Meghji, Risk and Insurance Advisor for the Association.

Speaking in Isiolo while meeting like-minded investors, Myspace Properties Ltd.’s Group CEO & Chairman, Mwenda Thuranira said, “Our strength lies in our unity hence the need for this association that brings together SMES across the country. With such a platform we are going to learn from each other and better our products and services. Successful companies focus on product value instead of just on product costs and in so doing satisfy customers and increase product profitability. Successful companies improve product value by using effective business advisory frameworks and methods to foster growth and success. We do not want to be left behind.”

For further details and updates, please contact;

Samuel Ndisya,

Corporate Communications

United SMES Association of Kenya

+254719408244/ +254 716 764284

About United SMEs Association

The United SMEs Association of Kenya is a not-for-profit organization committed to helping Small & Medium Enterprises to connect and promote their businesses for a more profitable and sustainable future. The United SMEs Association of Kenya was formed out of a realization that severe problems were being faced by the SME sector in Kenya, which were not being addressed due to the lack of a strong representative organization.

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