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Barclays Bank launches skills building programme for SMEs

Barclays Bank of Kenya (BBK) has launched a business empowerment programme targeting more than 9,000 small and medium businesses.

The SMEs in Conversation Programme targeting seven counties kicked off in Meru on Thursday with business people expected to learn how to access local, regional and international markets. BBK head of SME sales John Achoki said the programme will see business owners trained in performance management, access to markets, business skills, mentorship and networking.

“We have partnered with other like-minded organisations including the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), ShapeAfrika, Lanex International and Wylde International to train business people on how to grow their enterprises,” Mr Achoki said. The sessions will feature training workshops, networking opportunities, mentorship and coaching sessions.

BBK Head of SME Susan Situma said the bank’s business club has been supporting more than 9,000 businesses since 2003. “Over the last few years we have connected more than 7,000 members to trade opportunities in more than 10 countries including the United Kingdom, Japan, China, the US, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, India and Thailand.

“More than Sh3 billion worth of transactions has been conducted through these initiatives,” Ms Situma said. John Ngare from KNCCI said the organisation will help business people access international markets through linkages and exhibitions. The objective is to empower entrepreneurs with the resources they need to improve the performance of their businesses and achieve their ambitions. Meru county trade executive Maingi Mugambi said the county was working with financial institutions to incubate small businesses.

The project will be rolled out in other major towns including Nyeri, Nakuru, Eldoret, and Kisumu.

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