Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK) Tech Hub among other partners have launched the second business regulatory toolkit.
The business regulatory toolkit focuses on counties with a goal of capturing the full cost of doing business as well as document the compliance processes for all county business levies and fees.
This comes after a successful performance of the National Business Regulatory kit launched in March last year that was tailored to address business issues at the National level, having been tested in 10 pilot counties: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Machakos, Uasin Gishu, Garissa, Kakmega, Kajiado and Laikipia.
The tremendous business success witnessed from the first National regulatory toolkit was highlighted by East African Community (EAC) and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary (CS) Adan Mohamed while speaking at a Nairobi hotel, stating that there have been remarkable steps witnessed from the toolkit and as a result there have been reforms that have seen an increase in foreign investments as well as creation of jobs.
Mohamed said that the toolkit identifies special needs faced by SMEs and provides relevant support agencies which covers general business in Agriculture, Energy, Manufacturing, ICT, Import-Export, Tourism, Education, Finance and Construction.
“I have no doubt that profitability of SMEs will improve as they focus more on things that matter as opposed to having frustrations and spending a lot of time at county offices getting licenses,” said Mohamed adding that the platform will play a key role in changing the lives of the people.
The CS said that he was pleased by the outcome of the 10 pilot counties, and that the ministry is seeking to integrate the 47 counties to the tech-based business solution toolkit.
He appealed to county governments to balance the need for raising revenue by giving licenses and opportunities to people to provide capacity support to counties to undertake the requisite administrative reforms and streamlining of services which will enhance their competitiveness.
Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Chief Executive Officer Carol Kariuki noted that the toolkit was a timely idea that will help navigate through the pandemic as it fosters cooperation among the counties, private and public sectors to work together.
She further stated that KEPSA engages with government and acts as a soundboard for putting up reforms and coming up with solid business structures, adding that government agencies like Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) work together to ease the process of starting a business.
During the launch, British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott, congratulated the government on the success of the first phase, and at the same time elaborated that the second phase will go deeper to calculate taxes from county to county to help entrepreneurs to manage and scale up their businesses.
“With the tax calculations on the toolkit, an entrepreneur is able to plan their business with certainty, bringing a good base for business growth and longevity,” said Marriott.
She also said that UK Kenya Tech-Hub being among other partners that have created an SME business regulatory toolkit, will advocate to engage and understand the Kenyan business environment and develop awareness to unblock barriers and enable SMEs in steering their business to higher heights.
In addition to training investors to invest in local businesses, Marriott added that 50 million dollars had been disbursed by UK Kenya Tech Hub to Equity Bank for the purpose of boosting SMEs.
The British High Commissioner concluded her statement with a resounding call for peace in the coming transition election expressing that businesses need certainty and reliability in political stability to thrive.
By Audrey Cherotich and Daisy Makena