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Government to help revive SMEs hardly hit by pandemic

The Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Chief Administrative Secretary, Lawrence Karanja address the media when he toured the Nyahururu Common Manufacturing Facility, formerly Jua Kali Centre in Laikipia County on Friday June 5, 2020. Photo by KNA.

The  government is set to help revive small businesses and enterprises that have been largely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, the  Trade Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Lawrence Karanja has revealed.

While noting that the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development had started profiling vulnerable cases, the CAS said that the government was focused on supporting the resilience of those who are most vulnerable across companies’ value chains and in the communities in which they operate.

Karanja  who spoke when he toured the Nyahururu Common Manufacturing Facility, formally Jua Kali centre on Friday, said that they will partner with other state agencies,

including Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) to help small and micro businesses recover from the economic crises occasioned by the pandemic through funding and technical support.

“As a Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development we will soon be having money that we shall offer loans to the small and micro entrepreneurs to help revive their businesses. We have started touring the small businesses and Jua Kali sectors to try anticipate how the businesses in the country have been affected and see where we need to focus our efforts,” said Karanja.

Karanja  said that after profiling, the ministry through MSEA, will ensure that entrepreneurs will be able to access capital in SME loans.

He noted that Small Businesses, especially in the Jua kali sector was a key contributor to the country’s economy accounting for close to 30 per cent of the country’s GDP and hence the need by the government to help them recover.

The  MSEA CEO, Henry  Rithaa  said that the Authority was working toward equipping the Jua Kali sector  with modern machineries for efficient production.

He said the majority of Kenyan entrepreneurs fall under MSEA adding that this was the reason the government was ensuring that challenges facing micro and small businesses across the 47 counties are addressed.

“We are going round the 47 counties with a sole intention of offering a helping hand to the business sector. The importance of small businesses in Kenya cannot be ignored and calls for concerted effort among all players,” said Rithaa.

The  Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency, Dr. Wilfred Nyakwanya said that they were going to ensure that there was an availability of market for Kenyan products locally and globally and to boost the Buy Kenya, Build Kenya initiative by promoting consumer base for local manufacturers.

By  Jesse  Mwitwa

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