, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 6 – A web portal connecting SMEs and bigger firms with business opportunities has been launched in Kenya after a successful run in Ghana.
Invest in Africa – Kenya has launched the new platform that is aimed at enhancing the growth of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The platform dubbed African Partner Pool (APP) will allow larger organizations to issue tenders to the SMEs in different sectors while SMEs will be vetted and prepared to do business with listed companies and multinationals.
So far the platform has about 400 SMEs and hopes to have over 1000 SMEs in the platform in 2017 and over 10 large organizations apart from the current partners.
Among the current partners include Tullow Oil, Equity Group, Safaricom, Nation Media Group, EY, Shell, AMSCO, Kenya Investment Authority and Strathmore Business School, who signed a charter committing to support the growth of SMEs by providing commercial opportunities on the APP platform.
Invest in Africa Programme Director William Pollen says the organization targets deals to have deals worth Sh100 billion in the next 10 years.
“Our Long term vision by 2027 is to connect African SMEs, to $1 billion worth of contracts and in the process creating 100,000 jobs. Our target for tenders to be uploaded on to the platform this year is well in excess of 400 and we expect 250 0f those to be won by Kenyan SMEs,” Pollen explained.
He hopes that the Kenyan Charger will be as successful as the one in Ghana.
App was launched in Ghana in 2014.
“As with all technologies it takes a period for people to build confidence in using the tool, but over the last year we have seen quite a rapid improvement in the way it’s been received. We have 15 buyers, over 1600 SMEs using it (APP) to procure goods and services and we have got 79 deals on the APP totaling about Sh1.2 billion,” said Ghana APP Manager Ibrahima Aminu.
IIA-Kenya has been developing the African Partner Pool (APP) with the assistance of a Kenyan technical advisory team of procurement and ICT specialists.
“We are excited about the partners and encourage others to join the platform (www.appkenya.com). Through the tenders and opportunities made available by our partners, the capacity building offered as part of the APP alongside the networking space and events, and the financing options will lead to better outcomes for our businesses and entrepreneurs.” Pollen notes.
According to the “Barriers to Kenyan SMEs growth and investment” study undertaken by IIA and the Strathmore Business School in mid-2016, SMEs find it difficult to access the business opportunities available from their larger counterparts: conversely, Big Businesses often complain about finding reliable and trusted local SMEs that can deliver to meet their standards.
The APP’s vetted supplier pool will facilitate transparent business in a more timely and cost efficient manner.