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Launch of special dispute-solving tribunal for smes

Kenya has established a special tribunal to help entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to solve their disputes. The Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) CEO Patrick Mwangi said the committee will solve all conflicting issues arising from the breach of contracts, property disputes or foiled transactions.

“We are in the process of establishing a special tribunal. The tribunal will handle all disputes within the MSE sector,” Mwangi told a forum of SME representatives late Tuesday in Nakuru, about 180km northwest of Nairobi.

“This will be one step forward towards removing any blocks that drag behind developments towards making this sector a wealthy and lucrative venture,” he added.

Mwangi, who was addressing the SMEs representatives from the 18 counties from the across the country, said that lack of permanent structures for operations of the informal traders is one of the main challenges that have hindered efforts to expand their business.

To solve the problem, he said the authority will be creating a Communication Strategic Plan aimed at prevailing upon the county leadership to recognize the contribution of the MSE sector in their economies and hence create conducive environment for their investments.“Our plea will be that they promote a good working environment for the SMEs in the country. One way will be establishing permanent structures for them in strategic areas where they are able attract customers,” noted Mwangi.

He said that the SMEs sector creates over 80 percent of the total new jobs created annually in the East African state and there was need to boost its development to attract more local and international investors.

Regarding production of high quality and marketable products in the East African Community’s trading bloc as well as international market, Mwangi said the authority will support initiatives intended at promoting value addition across the country.

“We are looking forward to identifying the various value addition projects in all parts across the 47 counties. Apart from creating jobs which will be reducing level of unemployment, we will be boosting the level of productivity in the sector. Eventually make it one of the most lucrative ventures in the country,” said Mwangi.

The SME sector forms part of the Economic Pillar in Kenya’s Vision 2030, which foresees the creation of a sustainable middle- level Kenyan economy by the year 2030.

According to the Economic Survey 2013, the sector employs over 600,000 people annually.

Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Association CEO Richard Muteti identified inaccessibility of credit facilities to the informal traders in the East African country as a critical input that has hampered them from diversifying their businesses.

To solve this, Muteti, who is also the Director of the Small and Medium Enterprise Support, East Africa (SMES-EA), called on the Kenyan government to come up with policies that would enable them access capital assistance without stiffening obstacles.

“The MSE sector is extremely crucial in the development of every country’s economy across the globe. Importantly, in Kenya it contributes above 88 percent of all the new employment opportunities created annually,” said Muteti.

Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENAVIST) Chairperson Simon Ole Nasieku said they will be pushing for the establishment of all permanent structures for the operations of the SMEs within the proximity of the busy central business districts across the East African state.

By Robert Manyara #Xinhua

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New body to manage small traders

Micro and small traders now have a reason to smile following the operationalisation of a new Authority to address their issues. The creation of the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA) comes after President Kibaki signed the Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) Bill 2012 into law last week.

Under the new law, firms with an annual turnover of below Sh500, 000 and employing less than 10 people will be classified under ‘micro enterprises’, while those with an annual turnover of between Sh500, 000 and Sh5 million and employing between 10 to 15 people classified under ‘small businesses’.

 Small-scale traders hailed the creation of the new Authority, saying it would open a new chapter in the trade arena in the country.

“We expect there will be new approaches to businesses, for example, creating new linkages with other players in the market, enhancing innovation, and augmenting capacity building,” Daniel Huba, an SME expert said.

Until the formation of the Authority, various departments handled the coordination of the micro and small enterprises. For example, the traders have been under the management of the Industrialization, Trade, Co-operative Development and Marketing, and local government ministries, among other government agencies.

The key challenges facing the traders include lack of credit finance, market access, market information, business skills and representation in various authorities especially ion the Government.

The Authority will create an SME fund to facilitate business financing among other issues.

By Nicholas Waitathu, #TheStandard

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Traders to access capital through MSE Fund

Small businesses in the country will in the next 12 months be able to access loans at subsidised rates after the establishment of a new Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) Fund.

The establishment of the MSE Fund follows the passage of the MSE Act 2012 which seeks to promote development of small businesses through access to affordable credit, capacity building, research and development.

Speaking during the launch of the Act on Thursday, Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed said his ministry will work with all stakeholders to ensure that all the SMEs exploit the full benefits of the Fund.

“We want clear coordination in the sector and anybody who wants to support this sector should now come through the authority or through the Fund. When there is clear cooperation, I am sure everyone will benefit,” Mohammed said.

He however directed the newly formed MSE Authority to work closely with the over 1,200 MSE associations and ensure that they not only get to know how to access the small loans but also provide them with market linkages.

The rates and the amount of credit to be given out, he said, will be made clear once the fund is fully operational.

The Act also provides the establishment of the Registrar of MSE Associations to help the latter get strong identity, direction and a channel through which they can air their grievances.

“We want to stop the constant running battles between small business especially the street vendors and county governments askaris that we have been seeing of late,” he said.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has come up with a simplified version of the Act which will be used to educate the traders on some of its benefits and also the rules and regulations that they need to adhere to ensure proper coordination in the sector.

“The 32 page Popular Version of the MSE Act 2012 will be available for free to small businesses in English and Swahili,” KEPSA CEO Carole Kariuki said during the launch.

The Act divides small businesses into four main sectors which include agribusiness, services, manufacturing and trade. The Law was passed in December 2012 after 10 years of advocacy and multi-stakeholders consultations.


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SMEs Told to Expand Trade

Micro and Small Enterprises Authority CEO Patrick Mwangi on Friday urged small entrepreneurs to utilize support from the government to expand their trade. Mwangi was speaking at Storm Hotel during a Micro and Small Enterprises forum. He urged young entrepreneurs to be creative and innovative to improve their stability.

By Benson Nyagesiba

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About Us

The Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA) is a new state corporation established under the Micro and Small Enterprise Act No. 55 of 2012. The Act was developed through a stakeholder’s consultation process which took several years. The Authority is now domiciled in the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development.

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About MSEA


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