September 19-20 2018


UON Chandaria Centre for Performing Arts


560 Tickets


24+ Professional Speakers

ABOUT SME Fest / Growing Together, SME For SME

SME Fest brings together a network consisting of key leaders and organizations in various sectors and thought leaders in the SME sector who aim to see the growth of intra-country and intra-Africa trade spearheaded by SMEs. SME Fest 2018, the third event edition, is special B2B trade platform that will convene over 500-curated attendees featuring business icons, investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers and industry leaders from various enterprises and institutions, both national and regional, in a 2-day Intra-African trade festival.

The curated group of 500 attendees will be gathering for two days of targeted business networking and growth opportunities. Exceptional speakers, business success experts, leading entrepreneurs, investors, media and the Africa’s most promising SMEs & startups will come together for this most trendsetting Intra-African business gathering.

Over 1000 business owners from over 10 countries have attended SME Fest since the inaugural event in 2016. Out of these, 67% said they would definitely recommend the event to friends and colleagues. 68% of business owners who attended the last event said they were extremely likely to attend future events. 80% SMEs who participated in our pre-event study are looking for business growth solutions, networking and ways to increase their sales

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SME Success Conference / dont forget it

SME Fest 2018

Event Activities

The motto of the SME Fest event is “Growing Together, SME for SME ”. The SME Fest 2018 covers: -
  • 2 Day SME Success Conference
  • Business Networking Masterclass
  • 2 Days of Business Networking and Matchmaking Sessions
  • 2 Days of SME Business Clinics
      • Big Four Agenda - Big Four Agenda - Trade Facilitation Pavilion focusing on Manufacturing and Food Security resources and opportunities by - KEPSA/KAM/KAAA/Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives (MoITC)/Ministry of Agriculture

Venue Welcome Note

State of the Industry: SMEs as a Means to Achieving the Big Four Agenda

A recent National Economic Survey report by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in 2017 indicated that SMEs constitute 98 percent of all business in Kenya , create 30 percent of the jobs annually as well as contribute 3 percent of the GDP.

CBK data suggests that up to KSh 200 Billion was owed to SME businesses by the national government by the end of the 2017/2018 Financial Year, with as much as KSh 25 Billion worth of those pending bills directly contributing to non-performing loans.

Are we stifling private sector growth and will the Big 4 Agenda truly expand opportunities for MSMEs?
Ms. Lucy Muchoki, CEO, KAAA and PanAAC Ms. Joyce Njogu Head of Consulting, Kenya Association of Manufacturers Dr Patrick Ngugi Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya Mr. H.B. Okeyo, AG. Secretary of Industrialization, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives.

Keynote Address

Opportunities in Expanding and Enhancing: Agribusiness and Agroindustry Value Chains

Agriculture is key to Kenya's economy and forms its backbone, contributing 26 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and another 27 per cent of GDP indirectly through linkages with other sectors. More than 75 percent of Kenyans make some part of their living in agriculture. Productivity has gradually stagnated in recent years despite continuous population growth depriving the country to food security. Maximum yields have not been achieved in Kenya’s about 20 percent land suitable for farming.

Currently 46% of the population live on less than 1 USD a day, 36.5% are food insecure and 35% of children under five are stunted (chronically malnourished) in Kenya. Kenya's population has increased significantly and at the current rate of growth, it will be reaching 81 million in 2039.

What opportunities should SMEs be looking out for to build scalable businesses in the AgriBusiness and AgroIndustry Value Chains?
Ms. Ann Mwangi, Founder Medev Dairy Farm Ms. Elizabeth Mudogo, Agriculture digital business product manager Safaricom, Digifarm Joseph Ng’etich Director General , Agriculture and Food Authority

Pathways to SME Transformation: Financing in the Agribusiness and Agroindustry Value Chains

What are the available SME financing models in Kenya? Can SMEs in the Agriculture sector access viable financing to move them beyond subsistence and smallholder farming? Increased access to finance in agricultural value chains can boost yields and promote value addition.

The Kenya Vision 2030 underscores value addition and marketing efficiency as one of the priority areas under the economic pillar. Limited value addition to commodities implies reduced net returns to farmers limiting agricultural financing and denial of other multiplier benefits. Indeed, export of raw produce implies the giving away or export of the jobs to our export markets. The government is committed to build capacity in product value addition in six value chains: coffee, horticulture, honey, fish, milk and mangoes. What are the SME opportunities in accessing finance in these value chains?
Maarten Susan,Regional Director, FACTS Arthur Muchangi, Ag. Director Retail & Business Banking Division, Co-operative Bank Kenya Mr. Lucas Meso,MBS ,Managing Director, Agricultural Finance Corporation

Enablers of Innovation in SMEs

How can we optimize the Research, Development & Innovation environment for SMEs? They say, if you don’t innovate, you are dead. It is very difficult for big companies to innovate and this is another big opportunity for SMEs.

Because of globalization of markets with a higher rivalry environment, rapid technological changes and shorter product and technology lifecycles, many firms, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), should focus on being innovative which is the key driver for sustainable competitive advantage.

SMEs constitute 98 percent of all business in Kenya , create 30 percent of the jobs annually as well as contribute 3 percent of the GDP. Innovation could be the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (e.g. change in product properties), process (e.g. changed delivery methods), marketing method (e.g. new product packaging) or organizational method (e.g. changes in workplace organization) in business practices, workplace organization, or external relations. Are our SMEs being innovative enough? What are some the enablers to drive innovation in our SME sector?
Prof Bitange Ndemo – University Of Nairobi Business School Alice Migwi - Managing Director , Migwi Farms Ms Lucy Lau BighamCEO - Tosheka Textiles Gaita Kariuki ,Co-Founder Selina Wamucii Florence Kimata ,SME Advisor, Ministry of Trade, cooperatives & Industry

Business Networking Master Class

We all want to get the best out of our networking initiatives. We want to develop strong connections and cultivate relationships that will eventually culminate to mutually beneficial business relationships. But to arrive at this destination, we must do business networking the right way. See, business networking has been misunderstood by many, and it’s the reason why most of us are yet to obtain optimum value from existing and potential networks around us. It’s the little things we do, or don’t do that stand in our way of being brilliant networkers. These little things are actually the big things that cost us big time opportunities! The GNI business networking training is designed to throughly equip you to be a great networker. One who appreciates the value of connections & how to skillfully work them, while at the same time position self to be an outstanding personal brand that can’t be ignored. Learners will emerge out of this training having appreciated the key ingredients needed to consistently generate opportunities via networking. One of them is credibility- How do you earn it? How do you build it? How do you sustain it? Well, for that and more, sign up today for this class.
Sarah Karingi - Founder GNI

Market Access: What does the future of trade look like for Africa

SSA is today the second fastest growing region in the world. We should all agree that Africa’s greatest opportunity lies in trading with itself if we are to shape our own future.Currently, only about 12% of Africa's trade is intra-regional. The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) includes the 26 countries that are members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), and Southern African Community (SADC). The TFTA covers a population of 632 million and a combined GDP of $1.3 trillion. The area spans 17.3 million square kilometers, which is nearly twice the size of China or the United States. What does this opportunity mean SMEs? What is the future of trade in the next 10 years in Africa?
Mr. Nic Nesbitt Chairman, KEPSA Dr. Chris Kiptoo PS International Trade Ms Wangechi Muriuki CEO,Invest in Africa(IIA) Sachen Gudka Chairman ,Kenya Association of Manufacturer

The Manufacturer Success Journey: Driving growth of SME manufacturers

SMEs must develop strategies to build strength and expand into new domestic and export markets. Some of the top areas critical for future success are:
  • Applying technology
  • Agility
  • Accelerated innovation
  • Attracting and retaining talent
These are distinct areas of advantage for SMEs due to their size and can be exploit to strengthen market position.
Technology is becoming rapidly affordable, with cloud technologies for example allowing incremental investments in IT. In an age where customers are increasingly demanding new, bespoke products and services delivered nearly instantly, companies must adjust course and scale operations quickly, this is something that SMEs can do while large incumbents naturally find difficult. If you don’t innovate, you are dead. It is very difficult for big companies to innovate and this is another big opportunity for SMEs. Entrepreneurship is becoming cool. It is a generational shift and SMEs tap into graduates of top business and universities by designing attractive alternatives to life in a big corporation. What local support is available to set SME manufacturers up for success? What factors will drive enhanced manufacturing?
Joyce Njogu, Head of KAM Consulting Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE) Representative Kenya National Trading Corporation Representative

Leveraging the Power of Tech to Accelerate Intra-African Trade/ Market Access

We are at a time when concerted efforts are being made across the continent by government and private sector associations to deepen economic integration and boost intra-regional trade and cross-border investments. Currently, only about 12% of Africa's trade is intra-regional. It is 22% for South America, 40% for North America, 50% for Asia and 70% for Western Europe. The tariff liberation of 60–85% will have a significant impact in facilitate the cross-border flow of goods and services.

The combined GDP of Africa is projected to reach $29 trillion by 2050, which would be equal to the current combined GDP of the EU and the US.

Late Dr. Calestous Juma indicated that the TFTA is a key landmark in Africa's economic history. It ranks in significance with the independence of Ghana in 1957, the creation of the Organisation for African Unity in 1963, and its reinvention as the African Union in 2002. To paraphrase Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, the best way to learn to be a continental free trade area is to be a continental free trade area.

How can we leverage the power of tech to accelerate intra-african trade? What are the low lying fruits? What does being mobile first and now mobile only continent mean to intra-regional trade? Africa now has over 453 million Internet users, can we begin now?

David Macharia, Creative Lead, Versatile Photographers Joseph Ayieko – Assistant Manager Business Advisory Services, KIE Chebet Mutai – Founder Wazawazi Chris Rumenda, Head of MarketPlace Jumia Kenya Wandia Gichuru, Managing Director Vivo Activewear

Innovative Manufacturer & Retail Sector Collaboration

There are enormous benefits of supply-chain collaboration. Future supply-chain collaboration will go beyond the commercial areas such as in-store programs and merchandising to include “supply-chain flows and processes” and “demand planning and fulfillment”. Enhanced supply-chain collaboration between manufacturers and retailers benefits can be substantial, from reduced stock outs, costs and consumer experience Panelist
Daniel Gathua CEO Tuskys Supermarkets Meshack Alloys CEO Sendy

Getting Investor Ready

What do investors look for before they invest in your business? Join the Sinapis team at the SME Fest and get insights on: -Questions that investors will ask before putting money in your business -The 4 key areas you need to have figured out before approaching an investor -A free toolkit you can use to prepare yourself to meet and close deals with investors  

Event Price list / perfect price for your pocket

Delegate Fee


2 Day event Pass
2 Days of Business Networking and Matchmaking Sessions
2 Days of SME Business Clinics featuring – Big Four
Beverages and Snacks

Business Networking Master Class


We all want to get the best out of our networking initiatives. We want to develop strong connections and cultivate relationships that will eventually culminate to mutually beneficial business relationships. But to arrive at this destination, we must do business networking the right way. 

testimonials / See What People Say About Us

Video 2016 Edition

Event Speakers / meet with greaters

Dr. Muthoni Ngatia

CEO and Founder of OPENWORLD LTD

Ivan Ochieng Isaaya

Chairman of the KAM-SME Caucus/ Director and Co-Founder of Green Pencils Ltd



Lucy Muchoki


Mrs. Millicent Omukaga

Head of Operations, Agricultural Finance Corporation

Ms Lucy Lau Bigham

Tosheka Textiles CEO

Mr. Gudka Sachen

Chairman of KAM

Ms. Florence Kimata

SME Advisor Ministry of Industry,Trade and Cooperatives

Ms. Waturi Matu

TradeMark East Africa

Mr. Peter Wakaba

Senior Business Journalist BBC

Chris Rumenda

Head of Marketplace at Jumia Kenya

Ms. Wandia Gichuru

Co-Founder and CEO of Vivo Activewear

Mr. Grant Brooke

CEO Twiga Foods

Ms. Elizabeth Mudogo

Safaricom Limited

Ms. Annie Mwangi

Co- Founder and Director of Meved Dairy Farm 

Prof. Bitange Ndemo

University Of Nairobi Business School

Ms. Alice Migwi

Managing Director Migwi Farm

Ms. Kanini Mutooni

Director Investment East Africa Trade and Investment Hub

Joseph Otieno Ayieko


Ms. Chebet Mutai

Creative Director Wazawazi

Mr. Daniel Githua

CEO Tuskys Supermarkets

Mr. Meshack Alloys

Founder and CEO Sendy Ltd

Mr. Ng’ang’a Mbugua

Editor Nation Media Group

Mr. Oscar Kimani

Corporate Affairs,Transnational Bank

David Macharia Mwangi

Commercial Photographer Versatile Photographers

Prof Peter Mbithi

Vice-Chancellor, at the University of Nairobi

Vishal Ajmera

Chief Product Officer Tulaa

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Event FAQS / find your answers

This is 3rd Edition

Venue; University of Nairobi, UoN Tower, Chandaria Performing Arts Hall

Dates: 19th – 20th September 2018

Time: 8.00AM: 5.00PM

Cost: KES 2,500 and KES 50,000+VAT for Exhibition

SME Fest tickets are currently available at Mookh. The delegate ticket offers
2 Day event pass to conference Access to Exhibition
Business Networking Beverages and Snacks
Bookings are confirmed upon receipt of payment or LPO.

Payments can be done by: * Cheques are payable to SME Fest Africa or * MPESA: Pay Bill: 247247, Account: 0260270630944 Amount: 58,000 (VAT Inclusive) * Bank Transfer: Bank: Equity Bank, Account: 0260270630944 Amount: 58,000 (VAT Inclusive)

Recent happenings / get news!

Kenya seeks policy to protect subcontractors

The government is developing a policy framework to ensure fair transactions between large companies and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the manufacturing industry to shield smaller players from exploitation. The Ministry for Industrialisation, Trade And Cooperatives is developing a subcontracting

SME Fest Photos

View stream on flickr