Africa Management Services Company (AMSCO) is the latest company to join as Local Partners to IIA in Kenya. AMSCO is a Pan-African private sector development Group whose core focus is partnership-driven capacity and skills development to assist African SMEs in becoming leaders in their field.
The partnership is aimed at strengthening capacity building for the Small and Medium enterprises in Kenya. IIA Kenya is working to develop a Business Linkage Program for SMEs that will be launched next year to support high growth potential Kenyan SMEs registered on their African Partner Pool (APP) to provide them the skills they need to overcome the main barriers to working with larger corporates in Kenya such as better governance, financial management, procurement, leadership among others.
The curriculum of the Business Linkage Program is informed by a study that IIA commissioned Strathmore Business School earlier this year to investigate Kenyan SMEs current state and skills gaps in relation to the expectation of the multinationals and large corporates. At least 300 SMEs and 30 Big Businesses participated in the study, which was conducted in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru.
AMSCO will support the program through its strong network of expatriate consultants, advisors and industry mentors to strengthen SMEs registered in the program as they implement and run new systems of working over the long term
According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics there are more than 17 Million SMEs registered in Kenya, with 98% of the enterprises contributing 25% of the country’s GDP and employing up to 50% of the workforce. However this is heavily contradicted by the 70% failure rate of SMEs within the first three years of existence.
Speaking at the launch of the partnership, Wangechi Muriuki the Chief Operating Officer at IIA Kenya stated: “IIA’s key objective in partnering with AMSCO was driven by their firm belief in pooling resources and sharing knowledge with reputable and experienced organizations to drive long term impactful solutions to SMEs”.