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.