SMEs OPPORTUNITIES

1.SMEs Accelerator Program

The SMEs Accelerator Program is an initiative by KEPSA with support from the Embassy of Ireland in Kenya, to support SMEs in increasing the value of their businesses quickly. It will involve an intensive mentorship to bolster their current strategies and accelerate their growth and help them pivot or adjust their strategy due to new information about their target market. The project will promote SMEs to access suitable financial products by linking them with various financial instruments (companies or individuals that provide financial resources and expertise to young businesses). This market-driven program will provide services, including mentoring and coaching to the SMEs to accelerate their growth. This will comprise a unique and highly flexible program combining business development processes designed to nurture the beneficiaries.

The program will reach at least 200 SMEs drawn from all over Kenya. It will be split into 5 Cohorts of 50 SMEs each.  Each cohort will join to take part in either of the following sessions:

  1. Cohort 1: Access to markets, themed, Accessing markets for your business growth;
  2. Cohort 2: Technology, themed, Accessing new business horizons through effective technology adoption;
  3. Cohort 3: Investor readiness, themed, Is your business ripe for investors?
  4. Cohort 4:  Business operations, themed, Operations and compliance for business success;

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet the following application criteria:

  • Must be SMEs owned or led by women, youth or at least 50% of the top-level management comprises of women or youth
  • Must be in operation for at least 1 year and at most 10 years
  • Must have at least 2 employees and up to 9 employees
  • Must be registered in Kenya and operational in any of the 47 counties. Businesses operating outside Nairobi are encouraged to apply
  • Application is open to both KEPSA and non-KEPSA members though priority will be given to KEPSA members and KEPSA business membership associations members
  • Priority will be given to businesses under the big four agenda value chain; Manufacturing, Health, Agriculture and Housing.
  • Committed to participating in the program for four months by attending eleven weekly sessions of two hours and submitting agreed deliverables.
  • Must be computer literate.
  • Willing to adopt or scale adoption of technology in their business operations.
  • Have access to a suitable device and reliable internet connectivity to participate since all sessions will be virtual.

Please submit your application by 22nd May 2022.

2. U.S – Kenya SME Trade Initiative Program

KEPSA and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) have had a longstanding relationship focused on increasing Kenya-U.S. trade and investment. The two organizations signed an MoU, witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in New York on November 2021. Under these MOU, KEPSA and CCA agreed to collaborate on the following initiatives:

  1. Support greater U.S. Kenya trade under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
  2. Promote SME- driven Kenya US. Prosper Africa Build Together campaign and initiative by capitalizing on and creating business relationships between Kenyan and U.S. entrepreneurs.
  3. Develop a database and online market of trade opportunities that will allow Kenyan and U.S. SMEs to connect with potential buyers, suppliers, and partners.

Recognizing the important role of SMEs in both the Kenyan and U.S. economies, KEPSA and CCA are launching the U.S.-Kenya SME Trade initiative which will be implemented as a strategic part of the current CCA-KEPSA MOU.

The initiative provides a unique platform to facilitate U.S. and Kenyan SME partnerships, support women and youth-run Kenyan entrepreneurs, as well as U.S. women, minority, and diaspora-owned businesses to help SMEs in both countries, address the current challenges many face to access the two markets.

In this regard, KEPSA is targeting 25 small enterprises from Kenya in this first call that are looking to scale up by going international or those who want to export more to the U.S. market. 

Eligibility Criteria

Twenty-five (25) SMEs will be selected in this cohort based on the following criteria:

  • Must have been in operation for at least 1 year.
  • Must have less than 100 employees.
  • Must be registered in Kenya and operational in any of the 47 counties.
  • Need to be ready to export or has been exporting and wants to scale up.
  • Application is open to KEPSA members only.
  • Commitment to participate in the program