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Economy

State plans enterprise hubs by June in SME growth drive

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Talks on establishing the hubs are at an advanced stage. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The government will set up regional enterprise hubs for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by June to ease access to services.

Dubbed Biashara Centres and fashioned along huduma centres, they will be one-stop-shops for entrepreneurs for ease of doing business.

Industrialisation Principal Secretary Francis Owino said talks on establishing the hubs are at an advanced stage.

“We would wish to operationalise the regional Biashara Centres before end of June this year,” he told journalists at a forum for formulation of SME policy.

Government agencies involved in the discussions for the hubs include the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Leather Development Council, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (Kirdi).

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The first Biashara Centre is fully functional at Kariobangi in Nairobi. Dr Owino said the biashara centres will make a key part of SME policy.

The sector has not had a robust policy since 2005, with a lot of emerging issues being ignored by the government.

Private sector players, development partners, ministries, departments and agencies were represented at the SME policy discussion.

The policy framework will be validated by the Cabinet before it is taken to Parliament for adoption. The policy framework will be ready end of February.

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