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