Sunday, May 26, 2024

Standardised SMEs Incubation and Collaborative Frameworks Key to a Better Business Environment

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The Association of Startups and SMEs Enablers of Kenya (ASSEK) called for the decentralization of entrepreneur support to county headquarters to enable local businesses to access entrepreneurship and innovation expertise. This will fast-track support for local startups where the government should consider upgrading county innovation centers into anchors of innovation.

According to Ecosystem Entrepreneurship Report highlights presented at the one-day Policy Roundtable entitled ‘Building An Enabling Environment For Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Actors’, supporting startups and SMEs based outside Nairobi will ease challenges the businesses encounter such as lack of digital services, poor access to funds, poor access to tradeoffs of price and access to clientele as well as improve their availability at a physical location.

Sustainable business strategies for SMEs in tough times

Speaking during the event attended by 120 founder-chief executives of entrepreneur support organizations, Ms Mercy Kimalat, Chief Executive, ASSEK said this support from a formalized entrepreneurship support system was key to taking Kenya to its next phase of growth. Kenya has a robust innovation ecosystem that last year attracted the highest Investment Funding Volume to the tune of KES107.6 m ($800,000).

“Kenya’s innovation scene, which is ranked third in Africa with energy and environment sectors being the best performing industries, has room for further growth that will enable more startups to scale up creating new products while opening up more job opportunities. We need to come up with programs that improve access to affordable capital, digitization, access to best-fit talent as well as a tradeoff of price and access to clientele, enablers, and services,” she said.

The roundtable also generated valuable insights into the ongoing projects under the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project that are jointly funded by the government and the World Bank. They also agreed to promote collaborative actions involving ASSEK, key government agencies, and  Enterprise Support Organisations (ESOs) to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Kenya.

Notable startups include M-Kopa(Energy), Cellulant(Fintech), Wasoko(E-Commerce), (Energy), Twiga(E-Commerce), Copia(E-Commerce), Cytonn(Fintech), Apollo(Agtech), LipaLater(Fintech), Big Square(Foodtech) and Poa Internet(Software).

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