NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22-Industrialization Principal Secretary Francis Owino says plans are underway for the launch of a loan facility targeting small business owners in the country.
Owino said the new service, which will be launched by the National Treasury, is expected to allow SMEs to access more capital and address the challenges they face when starting their businesses.
“One of the critical challenges of the SME’s sector is access to funds and some demands that equally have to be met and these are individual businesses,” said Owino.
The guidelines to support the project will be released next week where public input is said to be a top priority.
“We already have the draft regulation to operationalize this fund which will be subjected to public participation throughout the country as from Monday 27 and see how the SME’s will access the fund without,” he added.
The PS was speaking during the review on the proposed changes to the MSE’s policy by stakeholders that was revised last in 2005.
The delay in reviewing of the policy has made it difficult for MSE’s to address challenges as a lack of access to capital and market where he attributed the delay of the policy for over 10 years to consultation stages.
“To get the actors and stakeholders takes time but the process we will do by February where the Medium Small Enterprises will now adopt too,” said PS Industrialization Francis Owino.
The new MSE’s policy is likely to address challenges in areas such as limited access to finance especially for start-ups.
The sector has also in the past years experienced minimal reach to data and information.
There has been a high cost of production, especially for manufacturing as a result of the high cost of energy.
The stakeholders have equally complained of the existing regulatory framework that has given rise to several regulatory bodies leading to numerous demands and multiplicity of licenses and levies that must be met by MSE’s.
“It is not easy to scale through the different government requirements in order to get our businesses up and running,” said Kenya Association of Manufacturers Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Wakiaga.
The SME sector is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s top priority sectors, accounting for more than 90 percent of all businesses in Kenya.