Monday, 08 January 2024 07:34

STAKEHOLDERS MEET TO UNLOCK THE POTENTIAL IN THE MSME SECTOR

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In a significant stride towards unlocking the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises sector (MSMEs), the Council of Governors (CoG) Trade and Cooperatives committee held a consultative meeting with the Directors and Chief officers in charge of trade and MSMEs in the Counties, National Government and the Private sector from 4th to 7th December 2023 at lake Naivasha resort.
The meeting highlighted the significant progress made by County Governments in supporting the growth of MSMEs including: establishment of Enterprise Development and Cooperatives Funds with an aim to provide affordable loans targeting small and medium size enterprises; introduction of tax incentives to woo investors in the sector, including exemptions from certain taxes; county doing business with MSMEs to supply goods previously imported; market exposure to assist these enterprises in the marketing their products through organization of expos; supporting SMEs to participate in trade fairs and; improvement of infrastructure to facilitate business including construction of markets, and County Aggregated and Industrial Parks (CAIPS).
Addressing the forum, H.E. Hon. Susan Kihika Governor Nakuru County & Chairperson Trade, Industry, Manufacturing and Enterprise Development Committee emphasized the importance of collaboration between various stakeholders to ensure the sector grows and provides livelihoods to as many Kenyans.
“As we embark on this transformative journey, our mission here is not merely to anticipate the success of the micro, small and medium enterprises in our counties but to be architects of an inclusive and conducive business environment that promotes a sustainable development for all enterprises. Today, our collective presence emphasizes the crucial role of unity among stakeholders. By integrating national and county-level strategies, engaging the private sector, and adopting best practices, we aim to cultivate an environment conducive to enterprise growth within our counties,” added H.E. Susan Kihika.
The meeting addressed various challenges affecting the sector including the process and cost of acquiring business permits and the multiplicity of taxation. To address this the national Government committed to ensure that government services are automated to ease the registration and licensing of businesses, boost revenue collection, increase efficiency and ensure transparency to the business community.
“We are committed to facilitate market access for locally manufactured products and leverage on technology to develop a one stop digital marketing platform that will provide linkages and contact between producers, aggregators/ off-takers and the final consumer in both domestic and international markets,” noted the trade CS Simon Chelugui during his closing remarks.
Representing the private sector, the KNCCI CEO Mr. Patrick Nyangweso highlighted areas that MSMEs could leverage on to ensure growth and ease of access to funds. The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) and the Mastercard Foundation are working in collaboration to ensure that MSMEs have access to affordable credit.
“The MSME sector is the linchpin of our economic growth and development. By addressing the challenges, they face, leveraging partnerships, and implementing supportive policies, we can create a conducive environment that fosters growth. KNCCI is committed to this cause, working tirelessly to ensure that MSMEs thrive and propel our nation towards greater prosperity,” said Mr. Patrick Nyangweso.
The retreat resolutions are set to go a long way in reinforcing the position of both levels of Government to fast track the creation of an enabling environment for the MSMEs sector development. County Governments called upon all stakeholders to engage and review the regulatory framework to ensure consolidation of all fees and charges into one and issue a single business permit; establishing a one stop shop for all trade licenses.

 

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