Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are key to the future growth of Kenya’s economy, a pan-African organization said on Tuesday.

SMEs account for 80 percent of all employment in Kenya, said Patricia Ithau, Kenya manager of Invest in Africa (IIA).

“The expansion of SMEs should therefore be a priority of all stakeholders given their crucial role in the gross domestic product (GDP),” Ithau told participants in a business conference in Nairobi.

“Economies tend to thrive when SMEs are performing well,” Ithau said during an awareness campaign of the African Partner Pool (APP).

IIA is a private sector initiative founded in Britain that brings leading companies to support investments into Africa. The APP is a digital platform that matches SMEs with business opportunities provided by larger companies.

The tool has been launched in Ghana and Kenya and will soon be rolled out to the rest of the African continent.

“The platform is an ideal marketplace that gives visibility to SMEs so that become part of business value chains,” Ithau said.

The country director noted that despite the importance of small and medium businesses, they face numerous hurdles. “They are often unable to expand because they lack access to affordable finance.”

She urged SMEs to embrace sound business models to improve their competitiveness and to adopt higher governance standards to tap lucrative sectors of supplying to multinationals. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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