As the world observed the International MSMEs Day 2021, George Wachiuri, the Founder of the George Wachiuri School of Mentorship has urged corporates to upscale the role of mentorship of those in the sector.

Speaking on the observation of the global day, Wachiuri noted that, “the MSME sector has great potential to not only enlarge the employment opportunities for the country because it holds the potential of immense growth. ”

According to Wachiuri, the sector provides most of the opportunities for entry jobs including in the cottage industry, informal sector as well as in the startup jobs. He noted that it is these jobs that have the largest number of employees many of whom are professionals in the informal and technical sector.

Commenting on the need for training of technical industry players, Wachiuri advised parents to encourage their children to take up technical training in order to secure gainful employment in the future. He advised that going forward, the country will be in need of their services as it races towards meeting the fundamentals of vision 2030.

Wachiuri said, “as a country Kenya is moving very fast towards achieving vision 2030 and we are going to require technical expertise that will spur employment opportunities in the building sector, infrastructure, construction as well as innovation. It is the draftsmen and plumbers, the carpenters and painters, the masons and other such professionals that will drive the wheel towards achievement of vision 2030”.

Through the George Wachiuri School of Mentorship, hundreds of university graduates are accorded the opportunity to experience the workplace by working at the Optiven Group and it’s strategic business units. The six month mentorship period has accorded the graduates experience and skill which has seen 100% of them get into gainful employment.

Members of different Small and Medium Enterprises from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have also benefited from the George Wachiuri School of Mentorship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtFZGtGYchw

As the Chairman of the Optiven Foundation, Wachiuri urged parents to students who had left secondary schools to tap into their children’s talents and interests. The Optiven Group Foundation in partnership with Fusion Capital have led the way in provision of education to students who are unable to advance owing to poverty.

Wachiuri said, “as a parent, I urge parents to take time to study and understand what interests their children so that they can be effective in what they do from a very early age. While majority of parents often want their children to be doctors, engineers or professors, these professionals also need to work with nurses, clinical officers and lecturers.”

His sentiments come as a big percentage of those who cleared secondary school are set to miss opportunities to join university. Some of the 32,718 students who sat for 2020 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education are eligible for university funding under state subsidy. However they failed to secure places in the review process after which they missed out on placement. Students now have until July 5 to consider applying for university placement as the student placement agency opens a second review process.

And as the world celebrates the World Day for MSMES, the call to mentor remains a key reason for hope to all who look forward to a brighter tomorrow. The theme for this year’s observation is “MSME 2021: key to an inclusive and sustainable recovery.” The United Nations observes Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) day on June 27, every year since 2017 to recognise the contribution of these industries in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The General Assembly declared 27 June Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, to raise public awareness of their contribution to sustainable development and the global economy. The COVID-19 crisis has taught us that the pandemic and containment measures do not impact everyone in the same way.

Among the private sector, Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), especially those led by women, youth, ethnic minorities, and migrants, suffered the most. That is why the UN will be hosting a series of events to explore how MSMEs — the backbone of our economies can be equipped to ensure an equitable and sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery.

Cathrine Khasoa is the Lead for Corporate Affairs at Optiven Group.