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Varsity, KNCCI partner to support business growth

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has signed a memorandum of Understanding with Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) to support business growth in Kakamega.

The University has pledged to actively participate in training, capacity building of business persons and conducting research on best practices of conducting business in Kakamega.

Vice Chancellor of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology Professor Solomon Shibairo, Some of the University management and KNCCI directors during a breakfast meeting and signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support business growth in Kakamega. Photo by Moses Wekesa

Vice Chancellor Professor Solomon Shibairo said through the partnership, the University together with KNCCI will actively participate in advocating for better laws that target business persons in the county.

For instance, Prof Shibairo said they have noted a law that is being formulated at the county assembly seeking to woo investors.

“I have directed Professor Charles Mutai to follow up on that law which is being formulated so that the university can participate,” he said during a breakfast meeting in Kakamega.

The Vice Chancellor said the two institutions will strive to create an enabling environment for youth to engage in businesses asking the national and county governments to minimise requirements needed for one to start a business as they were discouraging the youth.

“We can do something to change Kakamega, so that youth will be attracted to do business. Other than taxes there are so many other obstructions that discourage investors,” he noted.

Lack of partnerships in businesses in Kakamega is among the issues that the stakeholders noted as hindering business growth, as they urge business persons to embrace the money market to make more money.

“We also want governors to support businesses by ensuring they upgrade roads, improve infrastructure such as ensuring people are connected to electricity and support shifting to clean energy,” the vice chancellor said.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Planning, Research and Innovation, Professor Charles Mutai, who is also in charge of Linkages said they are ready to work with the business community since the University management has allocated enough funds to support linkages with different business persons.

In addition, the university has taken into cognizance the need for training women and youth and other vulnerable persons on how to do business, how to bid and on how to apply for tenders.

One of the directors of KNCCI Kakamega, Jael Omumami urged the University to engage small scale business people at the grassroots level who lack skills of pitching businesses, branding and do not know how to successfully apply for tenders.

“Local traders are asking for opportunities to do business with the university and other major organisations in Kakamega but they lack knowledge on how to go about it,” she disclosed.

The Dean School of Business and Economics at the University Robert Egesa noted that in collaboration with KNCCI, the university started KNCCI Junior club to equip learners with business skills.

He noted that the school of business is ready to collaborate and undertake research together with KNCCI especially on Small Micro-Enterprises (SMEs).

“We have a fully-fledged section in the department of business administration dealing in enterprise development,” he pointed out.

The University management promised to provide opportunities for the business community especially the vulnerable groups to do business with it through the 30% procurement rule.

The business people also promised to provide internship opportunities for students from the university when they seek opportunities for Industrial Attachment.

The Golf Club Captain who is also a business person in Kakamega , Pape Sembi asked the university to interact more with the business community to offer them a platform to support students from the institutions.

KNCCI Chair Kakamega branch, Fellow of Chartered Professional Accountants (FCPA), Wycliffe Kibisu and Chief Executive Officer Nickel Tari said they will continue to advocate for a conducive business environment welcoming the partnership with MMUST.

By Moses Wekesa

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