Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE) has supported over 45 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kiambu County and this has created over 1,000 jobs.
KIE is an agency under the Ministry of Industrialization mandated to promote industrialization in Kenya through development of micro, small and medium enterprises.
Jackline Kyalo, KIE officer in Kiambu said that they facilitate the enterprises to overcome some of the key challenges for a more effective contribution to the economy.
Kyalo, who was speaking during a service delivery committee meeting at the Kiambu County Commissioner’s office said that the agency intervened during the Covid -19 to help sustain businesses.
“To support SMEs during the difficult period, KIE undertook various interventions such as capacity building for business skills management, business counselling, loan refinancing and rescheduling and granting grace period for repayment to the most negatively affected sectors,” she said.
As part of post covid-19 Economic Stimulus Programmes (PC-ESP), she explained to the stakeholders who had attended the meeting that KIE has facilitated value addition enterprises in agro-processing, leather and leather products, textiles and apparels, wood and metal fabrication, building and construction among others.
KIE, Kyalo said, offers medium to long term financing for start-ups, expansion and modernization and the minimum amount given is Sh 100,000 shillings and a maximum of up to Sh 2,000,000 shillings at an interest rate of 10 per cent per year.
“The maximum repayment period is eight (8) years and applicants are given a grace period of between 3 to 12 months.” she explained.
She further explained that KIE offers other services to entrepreneurs such as linkages, business advisories and industrial workspace.
By offering industrial workspace, KIE ensures that entrepreneurs will have access to affordable shades, parks and spaces for work. The agency also offers a pool of shared services to avoid overhead costs like water and electricity bills.
Business advisories help to see that businesses grow and succeed while linkages help small and medium enterprises transition successfully to large enterprises through technology.
For financing, Kyalo advised that an individual or a group must be involved in industrial business and provide the required document which include business licenses, and also personal identification for both the applicant and guarantor.
KIE is a nationwide agency with 37 branches and 35 SME industrial parks across the country. According to Kyalo, the agency has incubated businesses that have grown into international companies.
Such companies include Haco Industries, Nice and Lovely, Unilever, Makiga Engineering, Silver Springs hotel, Kuguru foods, Leather Masters, Africa Cafe and Mareba Tiles Enterprises.
In the Financial Year 2021/2022, KIE provided credit to SMEs amounting to Sh 733 million across the country, created 23,413 jobs, trained 45,246 entrepreneurs and created 4, 509 linkages within and across sectors.
By Lucy Mwikali