ICDC to support SME financing and start-ups scale up in Kenya

Start-ups in Kenya are set to benefit from financial solutions aimed at increasing employment opportunities and advancing economic growth in Kenya, thanks to the timely intervention by the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC).

Addressing stakeholders at the Nairobi Innovation Week at the University of Nairobi today, ICDC Acting Executive Director, Kennedy Wanderi, said that ICDC will support SMEs and start-ups with financial solutions such as business advisory services, equity partnerships and debt financing.

He urged companies in the financial sector to foster relationships with SMEs in order to facilitate their growth.

“There is a crucial need to boost SMES so that they can flourish into larger enterprises which can in turn offer more employment opportunities and grow the economy,’’ said Wanderi

He explained that the last five years, has invested Sh4 billion in the SME sector, creating over 1850 jobs both direct and indirectly.

“We have offered financial solutions to more than 100 companies. We are willing to partner with companies that are offering solutions to societal challenges and are set to create job opportunities to a large number of people,” he said.

He asserted that SMEs had a role to play in creating innovative products and adopting modern techniques in book keeping and financial management so as to attract financiers.

The commitment by this financial institution is a shot in arm for the sector which currently provides up to 70 percent of employment opportunities in the country.

This sector however encounters several hurdles to access credit as it is perceived as high risk by most financial institutions.

ICDC has in the past supported businesses that have flourished and created job opportunities whilst contributing to Kenya’s economy.

They include Centum Investments, General Motors East Africa, Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL), Almasi Beverages Limited and Development Bank of Kenya among many others.

The Government-owned development finance institution has been in operation for the last 62 years and aims at catalyzing the Kenyan SME sector as an engine for job and wealth creation.



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