KEPSA participated in the launch of the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP) on 4th June 2019 at the Intercontinental Hotel. KIEP is a USD 50 million project that will be implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, with support from the World Bank Group over the next six years. The project aims to increase innovation and productivity in select private sector firms.
Presenting an overview of the project, KIEP Project Coordinator, Mr. Stephen Odua outlined that the project would have three components with component 1 involving strengthening the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem to improve the survival and growth rates of technology-enabled startups in Kenya through a stronger innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and talent base; Component 2, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) linkages and upgrading to strengthen the productivity and internal capabilities for innovation of SMEs, so that they can better compete for local and international market opportunities, and; Component 3, outreach, Monitoring and Evaluation, and project implementation support to ensure the implementation and sustainability of the Project’s activities.
While launching the project, the Principal Secretary State Department of Industrialization, Ms. Betty Maina, highlighted that KIEP will aim to strengthen the innovation ecosystem as part of the implementation of the Kenya industrial transformation program. She noted that there was need for more innovation in the industrial space to increase productivity “Our Country can grow leaps and bounds by commercializing these innovations,” she said. Further to this, she highlighted that the project was anchored on the SME policy in a bid to assist SMEs to be more productive as this was the sector where industrialization will be realized. SMEs will be supported to grow and expand to meet the needs of customers locally and internationally. In her concluding remarks, Ms. Maina emphasized that Kenya would realize the benefits of the project if everyone would come together to grow in a much more sustainable manner.
In his remarks, World Bank Country Director, Mr. Felipe Jaramillo emphasized that development was the key to economic growth and job creation and noted that KIEP would be making its mark in the digital ecosystem while addressing broader technological challenges in Kenya. He further expressed his joy to note that the project would be offering customized support to women entrepreneurs and women run SME’s which would encourage female students to upgrade their technical skills. Concluding his remarks, Mr. Felipe reiterated that the World Bank was happy to support and was looking forward to KIEP making its impact in the economy.
The project will be targeting incubators, accelerators, innovation hubs, start-ups, SMEs, students and Corporates.