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Kenyan enterprises defy economic storm to post strong growth

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By Philip Muema, Project Director

Posted  Sunday, October 23  2011 at  19:20

In Summary

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The Top 100 annual survey is an initiative of the Business Daily (a Nation Media Group publication) and KPMG Kenya.

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The survey which is in its fourth year seeks to identify and recognise Kenya’s fastest growing medium-sized companies, and to showcase business excellence and successful entrepreneurship stories within this important business segment.

A Top 100 company is one that has succeeded in progressively growing its market position, translating the growth into a fairly sound financial position and good returns for its shareholders, employees and the community over time.

The Top 100 2011 Survey builds on the Year 2010 Survey theme, “One Market, More Opportunities” and reflects the immense opportunities available to mid-sized companies within the East African Community (EAC) Common Market.

From the survey, it was clear that a number of businesses are doing brisk business and even beyond, but more needs to be done to encourage businesses to venture into the region.

A total of 246 companies participated in the 2011 Survey. Over 70 per cent of these companies had a turnover of Sh70 million to Sh399 million, had been in business for over 10 years and were locally owned. During the year, 4 companies graduated to Club 101, an elite grouping of Top 100 companies that have crossed the Sh1 billion turnover mark.

Employment outlook

Overall, the participants showed robust growth in staff numbers with the number growing at an average of 12 per cent since 2008. However, between 2009 and 2010 growth slowed to seven per cent.

This year, 75 per cent of participating companies indicated that they are likely to hire more employees in the next twelve months as a result of expansion, need for specialist staff and new projects.

About 75 per cent of the survey entrants had over 26 staff with the number of companies with over 50 staff increasing by four per cent to 50 per cent of the participants.

Positive employment outlook

The positive outlook and the growth in staff numbers should encourage policy makers to give more incentives to these companies to help tackle the unemployment problems facing the country.

Source of set-up and expansion capital

The founder’s savings was the most common source of start-up capital for 71 per cent of the companies with loans from banks and family in second and third position at 26 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

For expansion capital, 72 per cent of the companies relied on bank loans, 20 per cent on savings with seven per cent of the companies taking on new equity partner.

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