Times Up! SMEs to Move Up now
The 2020/2021 Kenya budget is a wake up call for most small and medium enterprises to move more into the manufacturing industry.
With the country moving to a state of self sustainability in-spite of the pandemic that took the efforts back, prospective entrepreneurs must find a way to survive before being put out of business by conglomerates that are already venturing into other industries such as food-processing.
Despite the huge role that SMEs play in driving the growth of Kenya’s economy, it is estimated that the sector’s contribution to production is minimal, and many of them specialize in low-value addition and contribution to the informal economy.
Many small businesses are part of the informal economy which may seem to offer relief for their short-term challenges but in the long run, minimizes the potential for growth of the industry, access to wider resources and markets – and ultimately limits their impact.
The revised custom measures adopted following consultation between the National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani and the East African Community (EAC) which took effect from July 1 continues to show government keenness in sheltering the local industry hence SMEs need to take advantage of such cushioning by the government.
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Further lobbying of the government by SMEs to have better and conducive policies for growth and protection of this predominantly informal sector. Unfair competition from cheap imports has continued to hinder the growth of the sector.
More elaborate and clear guidelines targeting SMEs for the smooth operation of the Buy Kenya Build Kenya Strategy is key in the growth and expansion into the manufacturing sector.
The ever changing market has necessitated companies to try out new fields with a view to have an edge on their competition and so should SMEs.
To survive in the manufacturing sector then SMEs must now start creating linkages with established large enterprises with the view of further expansion for example a fruit vendor having an agreement with a juice processing plant boosting the growth of not only the SME, but it also result in the growth of the value chains, catalysing a more spirited economy.
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