There are roughly 1,200 firms that have so far registered for funding under Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSE Authority), but for some reason the firms are not performing as expected. Part of the problem, MSE Authority thinks, is the entrepreneurs’ lack of product innovation, entrepreneurship and market volatility skills. This belief is said to be supported by various surveys that have revealed that low technical skills among entrepreneurs is hindering growth of the micro and small size enterprises – and so the MSE Authority is to set aside Kshs 500 million in order to train the entrepreneurs. Business Daily reports:
Simon Ole Nasieku, a board member at the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority, says the fund will spend Sh500 million to train entrepreneurs before they can access the development money.
“We will set aside at least Sh500 million for the training of the SMEs on how to manage and expand their businesses so that the money they are given does no go to waste,” Mr Nasieku told the Business Daily.
Technical skills, product innovation skills, market knowledge and marketing skills etc are key skills that any investor must have in order to thrive in the competitive market thus the initiative to train micro and small entrepreneurs to acquire these skills is highly welcome. However, in order to achieve the ambition of transforming the micro enterprises to small and medium enterprises and later to industries, a lot more needs to be done. One critical issue that we have pointed out here at Kachwanya.com is the need to do away with membership requirement that the youth, men, women and disabled persons applying for these funds must to be 10 or more in number to access these funds.
The other issue that must be addressed is the lack of evaluation. It is important to evaluate Enterprises in terms of growth viability (an enterprise should be seen as offering unique solution to a common problem) and select those with growth pole potential; probably per county. It will be important to fund only enterprises that are capable of up-scaling in unique lines of businesses, and once the few funded enterprises thrive, they will offer job opportunities to the over 10 million unemployed Kenyans within a short period.
Until the government puts in place a well structured policy/framework for assisting SMEs, MSEs and Startups, including formulating appropriate legislation that address key challenges facing Startups such as access to funding, tax leverage, prompt payment for work done, etc, the micro, small, and medium enterprises will continue to fail despite the funding and training programmes being planned.