“To some extent, entrepreneurship is a lonely journey,” says Chad Hurley, one of the Cofounders of video-sharing site YouTube. Many in various fields have echoed these sentiments that it is truly lonely at the top. However, as workers have unions, business associations in Kenya like the Marketing Society of Kenya, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Kenya Association of Manufacturers can provide a community to not only connect with others but also grow.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers is a business association that unites industrialists throughout Kenya: offering a common voice and a chance at cooperation and dialogue-representing members’ views to the government.
Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga is the current CEO of the association with Ms. Flora Mutahi (founder of Melvin’s tea) as the chairperson. KAM has been a strong advocate fighting for favorable policies for the manufacturing industry including calling for the abolition of the Railway Development Levy and Import Declaration Fee.
For anyone in manufacturing, KAM caters to members in the following areas; construction, chemical and allied industries, energy, electrical and electronics, food and beverages. Leather, and footwear, metal sector, paper and board, pharmaceutical and medical equipment, plastics and rubber, services and consultancy, textiles and apparel, timber wood and furniture, motor vehicle assemblers and accessories.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) was founded in 2003 and Carole Kariuki as the CEO heads the Association. KEPSA main goal is to create a single voice for the private sector in order to improve Kenya’s business environment continuously through influencing policy.
Additionally, KEPSA provides training and networking opportunities through holding meetups and workshops for it’s over 500, 000 direct and indirect members. If you want to connect with businesspersons from a variety of industries then the KEPSA is the place for you.
KEPSA has similar roles to KAM only that it expands beyond manufacturing into all areas of the private sector.
The Marketing Society of Kenya has been dubbed the hub for all things marketing, started in 1962 the society main goal to empower and regulate the marketing industry through policy creation. It also offers consultancy for its members (non-members can access the services too) in marketing, strategy and business growth.
MSK also offers courses and workshops in marketing to ensure sound marketing practices are prevalent. For any marketer in need of mentorship and development, MSK is a good avenue for that considering its wealth of expertise built over its 56 years existence. Moreover, MSK members can access case studies of successfully executed marketing campaigns (those submitted in the annual MSK Gala) for learning purposes.
Business associations are vital to any businessperson, their benefits extend far beyond the tangible and are a necessary ingredient in remaining competitive.