IIA NEWS IN Kenya

Invest In Africa (IIA-Kenya) in partnership with the Department of Trade, Gender and Youth of the Turkana County Government, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Lundin Foundation, Technoserve, and Tullow Kenya, organized the 2nd annual business forum in Turkana County dubbed, ‘THE TURKANA BUSINESS EXCHANGE FORUM and MSME EXPO 2019.’ This event is a follow-up to last year’s IIA-led event that was held against the background of the Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) which has seen IIA-Kenya work with over 125 MSMEs in Turkana through the platform.

The exchange forum and MSME EXPO was conceived as an interactive platform bringing together several actors in the County including County and National Government Ministries and Agencies, private sector entities, business associations, bilateral and multilateral agencies, academia and MSMEs. This interaction aims to position the MSMEs to take advantage of Business Linkage opportunities through networking, showcase MSMEs from Turkana and public-private open dialogue to address key policy issues affecting the business environment in Turkana.


The key objectives of this year’s forum (BEF 2019) were: to provide a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue – with the Turkana County Government (TCG), on the action areas identified at the previous Business Exchange Forum (BEF 2018) and progress made towards operationalizing the MSME Development Framework; to increase opportunities for public-private partnership for increased investment into Turkana County; to showcase scalable local Turkana businesses for the purpose of creating viable linkages for skills, finance and markets; and to understand the different MSME development initiatives and identify the areas of possible synergies.


This year’s theme is ‘Enhancing MSME Competitiveness for Business Linkages’, focused on the key value chains which carry opportunities in Turkana county. These value chains include; Extractives, Agribusiness, Basketry and Handicrafts, Construction and Fisheries. The other additional areas the forum covered included Refugee Livelihoods and wholesale and retail business.

This year’s forum was attended by 150 participants drawn from the private sector, government, business community, and Media. 43 MSMEs from Turkana County also exhibited at the EXPO. The highlight of this year’s event was the participation of MSMEs from the humanitarian ecosystem from Kakuma/Kaloyebei in Turkana West. IIA’s partners, Kenya Tullow and Equity Bank, facilitated sector discussions on Extractives and Access to finance respectively.

The event was graced by His Excellency, Josephat Nanok, Governor – Turkana County with participation from high-level county ministers. The event brings together several private sector actors, business associations, bilateral and multilateral agencies, academia, the business community, MSMEs and the media.

Read more

Invest in Africa in partnership with SME Advisory Presidency, hosted a breakfast event themed ‘Growing an Inclusive Economy: Creating Linkages for MSMEs within the Big Four Agenda’. The event was aimed at highlighting the important role MSMEs play in the Kenyan economy on its trajectory of industrialization and job creation. We will elucidate the on-going challenges MSMEs face in their business activities and share ideas on how to better support the sector to take advantage of the potential economic power of the MSMEs for the benefit of all Kenyans.

Invest in Africa, celebrating two years of it's online platform unveiled the new identity/name of the platform from the 'African Partner Pool (APP)' to the 'Biashara.Now.' The online technology platform links MSMEs with procurement opportunities available to the private sector across value chains to promote local content and business sustainability.

Speaking during the launch, IIA-Kenya Country Director Wangechi Muriuki said, “ in just two years, we have been able to register 2,250 MSMEs registered on our platform, recruit over 20 partners who have provided 67 tenders worth Kes, 270 Million being won so far by MSMEs. Additionally, over 200 MSMEs have been trained and over Kes, 300 Million of financing unlocked through these partnerships.”

Wangechi added that it is IIA-Kenya’s belief that the new identity will spur increased mutual value and engagements between Buyers, Partners and SMEs as we continue working towards IIA's vision of Prospering African Economies in Kenya.

The event was graced by Honourable Peter Munya, the Cabinet Secretary of Trade Industry as well as representatives from IIA’s partner organizations, academia, policymakers, MSMEs from the IIA platform and other high ranking officials from the bilateral and diplomatic missions.

IIA Kenya aims to leverage on the new brand identity that speaks to the market to refocus on its path towards our vision of ‘Connecting Kenyan SMEs to contracts worth Ksh.1billion and create 25,000 jobs by the year 2020’.

For inquiries contact

Denis Mbau on 0724988258 or denis.mbau@investinafrica.com

Read more

Barclays Bank Ghana (Barclays) has committed to providing SMEs enrolled with Invest In Africa (IIA) credit support to expand their businesses. This forms part of a partnership established between the Bank and IIA through which Barclays will also provide other forms of enterprise development assistance.

 

IIA is a not for profit organisation with the vision to create Prospering African Economies. The organisation has in the past four years facilitated over $1million credit support to SMEs through its ‘Access-to-Finance’ benefit offering. Mr. Clarence Nartey, IIA Ghana’s Country Director, expressed delight at the partnership with Barclays and how it will result in more funds being made available to support the growth of SMEs. “The benefits to our SMEs are enormous. These include; access to world class business advisory services, short-term loans, supply chain financing and project financing at competitive rates. This should enable them grow their businesses and create more jobs in the economy”, Mr. Nartey said.

 

According to him, the partnership is very strategic because Barclays’ Enterprise Supply Development (ESD) programme has similar objectives as IIA’s three (3) prong benefit offerings. To date IIA’s ‘Access-to-Markets’ pillar, delivered through its online marketplace platform the African Partner Pool (APP), has provided Ghanaian SMEs with business opportunities valued at $150m. IIA’s ‘Access-to-Skills’ pillar, delivered through a suite of training programmes, has empowered over 230 SMEs by improving their entrepreneurial, managerial and technical competencies.

Barclays Bank Ghana’s Business Banking Director, Mrs. Grace Anim-Yeboah, says through the programme, Barclays aims to help SMEs that supply goods and services to corporate organisations get access to funding to enable them fulfill their orders and increase their competitiveness. “Our partnership with IIA is not only borne out of the recognition that, the growth of SMEs is critical to the growth of Ghana’s economy but also out of our renewed commitement to Ghana as we rebrand to Absa - an African bank with a global scale”, Mrs. Anim-Yeboah explains.

Read more

Invest In Africa-Kenya is carrying out a week-long business skills training in Lodwar, Turkana County. The event being held at the Lodwar Vocational Training Center has attracted over 30 SMEs from the region.

The aim is to empower SMEs and build their capacity to respond to the needs of the Oil and Gas industry supply chain. Some of the topics covered in the training include Strategy, Governance, Financial Management and Business Planning , ICT among others.

The training is in partnership with The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbHzz (GIZ), Employment for Development (E4D) SOGA, Shell, Tullow Oil & Kenya Federation of Master Builders (KFMB).

Read more

Invest in Africa has partnered with the Kenya Extracives Programme (K-EXPRO) to run a Credit Guarantee Scheme in Turkana, Kenya. The aim of this initiative is to help SMEs improve their credit, making it easier for them to access finance without having to give collateral.

TURKANA RECRUITMENT DRIVE

On the 17th January 2018, Invest in Africa is conducting a Supplier recruitment drive at the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), located at the Tullow Community Resource Centre (TCRC), Lokichar. The Supplier Recruitment Drive exercise targets to recruit and introduce SMEs to the Credit Guarantee Scheme. It will also give the local suppliers an opportunity to:

  • Meet and network will fellow suppliers and APP Partners.
  • Register and learn how to utilize APP features, which include; access tenders on @APPTenda-Space and promoting your business on @APPBiashara-Network
Read more

denis.mbau@investinafrica.com

 

">

On Thursday, March 8, Invest In Africa (IIA) – Kenya entered into a collaboration with Educate Global, a Kenyan - based private equity asset manager focused on education. Educate Global is a newly-formed fund management company aiming to invest in small and medium businesses, in sectors with direct impact on educational outcomes for children and young people in East Africa.

IIA is working to enhance SME access to skills, markets and finance in partnership with leading organizations in Kenya to drive job creation and enterprise development in the economy. IIA’s collaboration with Educate Global represents a significant opportunity to share networks and expertise to support SMEs across Kenya with vital skills, markets and access to finance.

Together with its Partners, IIA has built a unique, world-class online technology platform – The African Partner Pool (APP) that currently has a cross-sector database of over of over 1,300 vetted SMEs from Kenya. The platform directly links SMEs to procurement opportunities from larger organizations sourcing for goods and services locally and also offers capacity building to enable address their skills and knowledge gaps.

IIA Partners with Tullow Oil, Equity Bank, EY, Clyde & Co, Ecobank, Safaricom, Shell, Nation Media Group, AMSCO, Strathmore Business School, Keninvest, KEPSA among others.

Speaking at the launch of the Partnership, Wangechi Muriuki, COO Invest in Africa welcomed EGF to join its pool of leading Partners in advancing the agenda of SME growth and job creation in the economy. She stated that IIA is seeking to create 1 million jobs and connect SMEs to tenders worth USD 1billion.

“IIA is delighted to have EGF join our pool of partners. We are committed to building sustainable solutions to job creation and sustainable development in the country, and this partnership will go a long way in supporting our agenda’’, Wangechi said.

Sandrine Henton, Fund Manager at Educate Global, expressed her appreciation in Partnering with IIA, commenting: ‘’We are proud to partner with IIA and look forward to working together to support the growth of SMEs in Kenya.’’

For additional questions or information, please contact Denis Mbau on 0724988258 or denis.mbau@investinafrica.com

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Friday 27th April 2018, Invest In Africa Kenya hosted over 50 SMEs to a Breakfast Panel Discussion themed: “The SME financing gap - myth or reality?” at the Strathmore Business School in Nairobi.

The purpose of the forum was to foster the participation of and dialogue between SMEs and financiers on perceptions biases regarding SME financing if any and gain consensus on the way forward towards advancing the SME financing agenda in Kenya.

Perceptions about SME financing have metamorphosed over different sectors and these have influenced the behaviour of both SMEs and financiers. On one hand, financiers are perceived to have stringent lending conditions while on the other hand, SMEs are perceived to be a “risky lot.”

Some of the conversation angles discussed included:

  • Are there mistaken assumptions about SME finance?
  • Is the said huge SME financing gap a myth or a reality?
  • Do commercial banks understand how to finance SMEs?
  • Are SMEs in Kenya Investor ready
  • Do SMEs really understand how financing works?
  • Are all avenues explored or can more be done to improve access to finance?

 

Speaking at the forum, IIA- Kenya Country Manager, Wangechi Muriuki pointed out that “Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the key drivers of growth in the Kenyan economy, creating about 90% of new jobs every year and contributing to about 25% of the country’s GDP.”

The growing attention and interest regarding SME development in Kenya has led to a more diversified pool of targeted funding options for SMEs ranging from debt to equity financing. More and more DFI’s are extending credit lines to commercial banks for lending to the SMEs while there is remarkable growth registered in Equity funding in the form of venture capitalists, angel investors, private equity funds, grants among other initiatives.

“Despite the growing number of targeted efforts for financing SMEs, the lack of ‘Access to Finance’ continually emerges as a critical factor affecting the growth and scaling up of SMEs in Kenya. It remains one of the most debated topics on matters SME”, she added.

Equity Bank’s Director of SME Banking Philip Sigwart highlighted that banks are generally considered to be averse to risk, he however noted the importance of protecting depositors’ money as this is what is used to onlend to those seeking credit facilities. He stated that Equity Bank disburses facilities amounting to Kes. 4 to 5 Billion monthly to SMEs.

Jeff Alondo, Head, Enterprise Banking, Stanbic Bank noted that 90% of SMEs in Kenya have access to finance from various sources. However, a considerable number do not keep records nor have business plans. Many of them do take a long term sustainability view of their businesses. He maintained that every SME should aim to build a company that will outlive them.

Martin Kiilu, Lead at Intellecap Impact Investment Network emphasized on the importance of developing a business vision. “Investors are not just looking for businesses to invest in but visions to invest in”, he said.

From an SME perspective, Myke Rabar, the CEO and Founder, Homeboyz Entertainment advised SMEs on the importance of being trustworthy to enable growth and business partnerships. He also reiterated that his company grew organically because of the unique nature of his business. He urged SMEs to capitalize on the finance options currently available based on the different stages of growth that the company lies in. Hadija Jama, Director, Darubini Screening Company Limited highlighted the importance of background checks and various screening interventions that SMEs can employ in their business to improve on their credit score and competence.

Professor Geoffrey Injeni, Faculty and Consultant at Strathmore Business School accentuated that they have training programs that assist SMEs to become investor ready and are working with customers of some financial institutions. Their focus is based on research led studies and business cases. This provides a more practical approach for SMEs to improve their businesses.

Invest In Africa is working to enhance SME access to skills, markets and finance in partnership with both leading organizations in Kenya in order to drive job creation and enterprise development in the economy.

Together with its Partners, IIA has built a unique, world-class online technology platform – The African Partner Pool (APP) that currently has a cross-sector database of over of over 1,300 vetted SMEs from Kenya. The platform directly connects SMEs with larger organizations sourcing for goods and services locally and also offers capacity building to enable address existing skill and knowledge gaps.

IIA Partners with Tullow Oil, Equity Bank, EY, Clyde & Co, Ecobank, Safaricom, Shell, Nation Media Group, AMSCO, Strathmore Business School, Keninvest, KEPSA among others.

For additional questions or information, please contact Denis Mbau on 0724988258 or denis.mbau@investinafrica.com

">

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Friday 27th April 2018, Invest In Africa Kenya hosted over 50 SMEs to a Breakfast Panel Discussion themed: “The SME financing gap - myth or reality?” at the Strathmore Business School in Nairobi.

The purpose of the forum was to foster the participation of and dialogue between SMEs and financiers on perceptions biases regarding SME financing if any and gain consensus on the way forward towards advancing the SME financing agenda in Kenya.

Perceptions about SME financing have metamorphosed over different sectors and these have influenced the behaviour of both SMEs and financiers. On one hand, financiers are perceived to have stringent lending conditions while on the other hand, SMEs are perceived to be a “risky lot.”

Some of the conversation angles discussed included:

  • Are there mistaken assumptions about SME finance?
  • Is the said huge SME financing gap a myth or a reality?
  • Do commercial banks understand how to finance SMEs?
  • Are SMEs in Kenya Investor ready
  • Do SMEs really understand how financing works?
  • Are all avenues explored or can more be done to improve access to finance?

 

Speaking at the forum, IIA- Kenya Country Manager, Wangechi Muriuki pointed out that “Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the key drivers of growth in the Kenyan economy, creating about 90% of new jobs every year and contributing to about 25% of the country’s GDP.”

The growing attention and interest regarding SME development in Kenya has led to a more diversified pool of targeted funding options for SMEs ranging from debt to equity financing. More and more DFI’s are extending credit lines to commercial banks for lending to the SMEs while there is remarkable growth registered in Equity funding in the form of venture capitalists, angel investors, private equity funds, grants among other initiatives.

“Despite the growing number of targeted efforts for financing SMEs, the lack of ‘Access to Finance’ continually emerges as a critical factor affecting the growth and scaling up of SMEs in Kenya. It remains one of the most debated topics on matters SME”, she added.

Equity Bank’s Director of SME Banking Philip Sigwart highlighted that banks are generally considered to be averse to risk, he however noted the importance of protecting depositors’ money as this is what is used to onlend to those seeking credit facilities. He stated that Equity Bank disburses facilities amounting to Kes. 4 to 5 Billion monthly to SMEs.

Jeff Alondo, Head, Enterprise Banking, Stanbic Bank noted that 90% of SMEs in Kenya have access to finance from various sources. However, a considerable number do not keep records nor have business plans. Many of them do take a long term sustainability view of their businesses. He maintained that every SME should aim to build a company that will outlive them.

Martin Kiilu, Lead at Intellecap Impact Investment Network emphasized on the importance of developing a business vision. “Investors are not just looking for businesses to invest in but visions to invest in”, he said.

From an SME perspective, Myke Rabar, the CEO and Founder, Homeboyz Entertainment advised SMEs on the importance of being trustworthy to enable growth and business partnerships. He also reiterated that his company grew organically because of the unique nature of his business. He urged SMEs to capitalize on the finance options currently available based on the different stages of growth that the company lies in. Hadija Jama, Director, Darubini Screening Company Limited highlighted the importance of background checks and various screening interventions that SMEs can employ in their business to improve on their credit score and competence.

Professor Geoffrey Injeni, Faculty and Consultant at Strathmore Business School accentuated that they have training programs that assist SMEs to become investor ready and are working with customers of some financial institutions. Their focus is based on research led studies and business cases. This provides a more practical approach for SMEs to improve their businesses.

Invest In Africa is working to enhance SME access to skills, markets and finance in partnership with both leading organizations in Kenya in order to drive job creation and enterprise development in the economy.

Together with its Partners, IIA has built a unique, world-class online technology platform – The African Partner Pool (APP) that currently has a cross-sector database of over of over 1,300 vetted SMEs from Kenya. The platform directly connects SMEs with larger organizations sourcing for goods and services locally and also offers capacity building to enable address existing skill and knowledge gaps.

IIA Partners with Tullow Oil, Equity Bank, EY, Clyde & Co, Ecobank, Safaricom, Shell, Nation Media Group, AMSCO, Strathmore Business School, Keninvest, KEPSA among others.

For additional questions or information, please contact Denis Mbau on 0724988258 or denis.mbau@investinafrica.com

Read more