NAIROBI, September 24 – The Export Promotion Council announced on Wednesday that it was partnering with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) to promote growth of the small and micro-enterprises sector.
KCB Chief Executive Officer Martin Oduor-Otieno said the two-year agreement would target members of the KCB Biashara Club.
“We haven’t set aside any particular sum of money for the SME sector, what we want to do is ensure that the sector continues to grow. Presently, it probably comprises only less than Sh10 billion of our Sh80 billion lending portfolio,” he said.
Export Promotion Council CEO Matanda Wabuyele stressed on the need for product diversification in the export market through increased value addition, saying his organisation would help the SME to explore ways of tapping into emerging export markets.
“The idea is to mainstream their capacities, we know the bank can finance this initiative and we have the capacity to identify new markets, that way we will work together,” said Mr Wabuyele.
He said the objective of the partnership was to enhance the export capabilities of the SMEs and enhance opportunities in joint ventureship.
“We are looking at these Biashara Club members going out there and networking, creating business-to-business linkages and being able to attract investors here for export,” he said.
Mr Wabuyele said a study conducted by the council revealed that there was great potential for export of services like Information Technology and teaching services from the country.
As part of this partnership, KCB has organised the first trip for its customers to Dubai in October where 72 members have been enlisted to travel.
“We also have a second lot of 100 customers travelling to china to explore the markets and identify export business opportunities there,” Mr Oduor-otieno said.