Keeping Your Business in Mind

Devolve Innovation and business Training Support Services-Report

By Antynet Ford

Commercial activities within Kenya’s startups and SMEs’ can be expanded by availing financial assistance and innovation support at the county level, a report commissioned by the Association of Startups and SMEs Enablers of Kenya (ASSEK) says. Such support will give recognition to remote entrepreneurs who struggle to access business support services that are located in major cities.

According to Ecosystem Entrepreneurship Report highlights presented during a one-day Policy Roundtable entitled ‘Building An Enabling Environment For Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Actors’, the county innovation centres should also be upgraded to offer digital services, grant funds, advise startups on tradeoffs of price and enhance their access to clientele as well as improve their availability at a recognised physical location.

Speaking during the event attended by 120 founder-chief executives of entrepreneur support organisations, Ms Mercy Kimalat, Chief Executive, ASSEK said this support from a formalised entrepreneurship support system was key to taking Kenya to its next phase of growth.

Kenya has a robust innovation ecosystem that last year attracted the highest Investment Funding Volume to the tune of KES107.6 m ($800,000).

“Kenya’s innovation scene, which is ranked third in Africa with energy and environment sectors being the best performing industries, has room for further growth that will enable more startups to scale up creating new products while opening up more job opportunities. We need to come up with programmes that improve access to affordable capital, digitisation, access to best fit talent as well as tradeoff of price and access to clientele, enablers and services,” she said.

The roundtable also generated valuable insights of the ongoing projects under the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project that are jointly funded by the government and the World Bank.

They also agreed to promote collaborative actions involving ASSEK, key government agencies, and  Enterprise Support Organisations (ESOs) so as to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Kenya.

Notable startups include M-Kopa (Energy), Cellulant (Fintech), Wasoko (E-Commerce), (Energy), Twiga (E-Commerce), Copia (E-Commerce), Cytonn (Fintech), Apollo (Agtech), LipaLater (Fintech), Big Square (Foodtech) and Poa Internet (Software).


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