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3rd edition of SMEs conference and expo kicks off

The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) David Osiany Thursday oversaw the launch of the Third Edition of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Conference and Expo at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi

Speaking during the event, the CAS stated that SMEs is an important sector in the country which has generated 86 per cent renewed jobs for Kenyans.

Osiany maintained that the products made by the SMEs sector are of quality, have a high durability, and are accessible and affordable to all.

He further added that the Ministry will provide affordable standard marks from Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to the SMEs so that their products can be sold and accessed by people around the country.

Osiany said that through organizations such as the Small Medium Enterprises Authorities, dignified work certificates are being issued to talented individuals in different constituencies.

“Constituency Industrial Development Centers are available in different parts of the country and are trying to give dignified work sites to youth who have talent and place to work even though they have not gone to school,” he added.

Nation Media Group (NMG) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stephen Gitagama revealed that 86 per cent of renewed jobs annually are generated by the SME sector in Kenya contributing to 40 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“I would like to commit that NMG will hold these expo and conference every year and we shall liaise with the county government so that we also have regional SMEs where the government gets to interact with SMEs on a regional level,” he said, adding that the annual event will serve as a platform where people are able to market their business.

Richard Muteti, Head of Secretariat at Confederation of Micro and Small Enterprises Organization- East Africa (CMSEO-EA) stated that the Juakali sector forms part of the largest informal economic sector, majority of whom are in the SMEs sector.

Muteti also recognized the effects of the Covid-19 towards the SMEs which was the hardest hit sector.

“However, SMEs regrouped and started selling and providing masks, sanitizers and water points across the country,” Muteti remarked.

On issues of the youth, he urged the youth in the informal sector to join the nationally driven Juakali sectors conceptualised program called ‘Ujuzi Teketeke’.

“Through the Ujuzi Teketeke program, we are enrolling the youth into the informal sector where we train them for three months, certify them, offer them a one year operation certificate, and give them County Government provided tools,” Muteti disclosed.

By Catherine Mumbi and Teresa Rurigi

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