All Kenyans are rightfully proud of their country’s key role in the prosperity of East Africa. Nairobi, for example, is a major business hotspot and is hugely important as an economic hub in the region. Such is Nairobi’s reputation that it even has its own nickname of ‘Silicon Savannah’! The whole of Kenya also plays its part in making the country a real commercial powerhouse. Projections show that Kenya’s online food and beverage sector could be worth Sh. 3.8 billion in the future, which shows just how vibrant the country’s economy is.
Of course, the importance of Kenya can also be felt across Africa. If you look at the online gambling sector, for example, Kenya is now snapping at the heels of big names like South Africa. In the same way as people in South Africa have some top online casinos with free spins to enjoy, the same is true for players across Kenya.
A new Startup Bill published by the Kenyan Government in its National Gazette could see the country’s stock rise even further. This bill comes with the aim of giving startup businesses in Kenya a raft of incentives to help them succeed. It develops a modern framework for innovation, new business ideas and the creation of strong business networks in the country.
Sponsored by Senator Johnson Sakaja, it will see Kenya take concrete action to help new businesses within its borders. But what does the new Startup Bill 2020 contain?
Intellectual property safeguards
A key part of this new bill is the provision it makes for Kenyan startups to get effective IP protection. As well as helping new companies protect their intellectual property, the bill will give assistance in registering international patents. This will be crucial when Kenyan businesses scale up globally and need the right paperwork in place to stop competitors from ripping them off. IP protection has not always been something African businesses or countries have focused on in the past. This makes this aspect of the new bill most welcome and should help the whole country enjoy stronger economic success.
Programs for startup incubation
Another exciting part of the new Startup Bill for Kenyan business leaders is how it encourages incubation programs. This is set to be at a national and local level in a bid to spread the assistance for new businesses around Kenya. Much of this will be done through effective partnerships formed between local, national, and even international business incubators. This may well see more international partnerships, such as the Go Global Africa scheme, open up for new Kenyan firms.
It is also thought that county and national authorities will aid links between the business sector, universities, and research companies. All this should help startups to get the inspiration, help, and business support to get off the ground. A database of startups will be set up by the Public Service Commission of Kenya to record any new business that enters this incubator scheme.
What else is included in the new Startup Bill 2020?
When business leaders begin to delve deeper into this latest act, it soon becomes clear how wide-ranging it is. It promises, for example, to give financial help to new businesses and help subsidize their formation. This will be a huge help to many budding Kenyan entrepreneurs who might not have the initial capital needed to get going. The bill also sets out plans to provide support for R&D work, which is required by some startups. This support will be key in helping new Kenyan companies to fund future research into new products and help Kenya become a vital research hub in Africa.
Who is eligible for help under the Startup Bill 2020?
Of course, this is the key question for all business people in Kenya. The new bill states that any startup must be registered in Kenya, have its main base in the country, and be majority-owned by at least one Kenyan citizen. It also states that at least 15% of the company’s expenses can be set against R&D work and that the company is a holder, licensee, or depository of a valid patent. The new bill also says that companies that are owners or authors of eligible software can take advantage of it.
Great news for new business in Kenya
This is a major step forward, not only for new businesses in Kenya but also for the country itself. No other major country in Africa has introduced bespoke laws that cater only to startups. This gives Kenya a major advantage in attracting new business to its shores and becoming known as the best place in Africa for startups. Giving a boost to the local and national economies of the country, it could be a real winner.