SMEFEST2018 will provide SMEs with a supportive ecosystem that offers access to opportunities and resources required to rightfully contribute to the achievement of Big 4 Agenda as outlined by the Government of Kenya.
Nairobi, 14th Aug 2018: SMEFEST 2018 was officially launched today, with a focus on enabling SMEs in Kenya access opportunities and resources required to effectively contribute to the achievement of the Big 4 Agenda as outlined by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The launch was held in partnership with the University of Nairobi, the events’ knowledge partner, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives (MoITC). SMEFEST now in its 3rd edition since it was launched in 2016, is a foremost SME summit in East Africa, focused on SME tailored innovation, technology, enterprise, finance and public sector participation.
With a theme of “Growing Together, SME for SME”, the event will be held on 19-20 September 2018, at the University of Nairobi Chandaria Performing Arts Hall, focussed on two of the Big 4 Agenda pillars; food security and manufacturing. SMEs have a crucial role as a key growth driver for achievement of the Kenya’s Vision 2030, which seeks to transform Kenya into an industrialized middle-income country.
Speaking during the launch, Dr Muthoni Ngatia, the event director said,” SMEFEST 2018 offers a supportive ecosystem that brings together stakeholders vital for SMEs to start, thrive and grow. In conjunction with partners, SMEs will be provided with information on the opportunities available in the Big 4 Agenda, and further given financing, incubation, knowledge and market linkages. SMEs shouldn’t be left behind by this opportunity bus; Big 4 Agenda.”
On her part, Catherine Mukoko, the Manager, Manufacturing Academy said, “The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) recognises the role of SMEs in achieving the targeted 15% GDP contribution by the manufacturing sector into the Kenyan economy by 2022. Out of KAM’s membership of 1000+ members, 40% are SMEs. As an association, we are committed to provide skills and best practice information to SMEs.” She further lauded the government efforts to lift obstacles in the internal markets, creating an SME friendly business environment.
Prof. Mary Kinoti, the dean school of Business at University of Nairobi said, “As the official knowledge partner for SMEFEST 2018, this partnership between academia and industry will help improve the quality of talent developed in the University. We look forward to provide SMEs with case studies and best practice, and further collect feedback that will help us prepare for the future.”
Mathew Nyamu, assistant director of Industries, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade & cooperatives underscored the critical role of SMEs saying ,”SMEs are anchored in the ministry and we have the required resources to support SMEs in Kenya. The ministry is ready to link up SMEs to markets through the various trade initiatives with local and international partners. We are further encouraging large manufacturers to subcontract non-core processes to SMEs.”