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City gets new enterprise skills hub

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KNCCI President Richard Ngatia. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Centre of Entrepreneurship is backed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as well as the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).
  • KNCCI president Richard Ngatia said the hub will enable new local entrepreneurs adapt to a changing business environment by equipping them with digital skills but also linking them with investors.

A new entrepreneurship centre that seeks to fund, train and connect Kenyan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with local and foreign investors has been unveiled in Nairobi.

The Centre of Entrepreneurship is backed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as well as the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).

KNCCI president Richard Ngatia said the hub will enable new local entrepreneurs adapt to a changing business environment by equipping them with digital skills but also linking them with investors.

“Local startups will be supported with the necessary resources to scale up their ideas, including funding, business mentorship, training and advisory,” he said.

“With many businesses stagnating following the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre will act as the focal point for technology entrepreneurs to network with potential investors.”

Raising start-up capital and access to markets are some of the biggest challenges for budding Kenyan entrepreneurs, with banks requiring collateral that most of them do not have, a past study showed.

But Mr Ngatia said that once the startups are fully established, the centre will provide a platform to access new markets, as well as position the SMEs to expand into regional markets.

“The Centre for Entrepreneurship regional hub will position the African SMEs to tap into cross-border and regional trade which they can use as a stepping stone to venture into overseas markets,” he said.

“The MSMEs can also benefit by supplying inputs to larger regional companies with the capacity to export, as a way to aid their participation of MSMEs in regional value chains.”

ICC secretary general John W.H. Denton AO said the centre will host a series of talks for entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce, businesses, banks and governments, to address the structural challenges facing emerging and developing markets, including youth employment, gender inclusion and education.

THOUGHT LEADERS

“By bringing together thought leaders, businesses and entrepreneurs, the centre will create a thriving community of professionals devoted to bringing their innovative ideas to life,” he said.

Similar hubs have been established in Ghana, Morocco and Nigeria to inspire innovation and improve the business environment for SMEs in Africa.

“Building on ICC’s presence in over 100 countries around the world…this Centre will equip entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to scale their business strategies, enter new markets, and improve local job opportunities,” said Mr Denton.