MSME-Day

Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) – both formal and informal – make up over 90% of all firms and on average account for 60-70% of total employment and 50% of the World’s GDP. This is according to recent data provided by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB).

Perhaps, this immense contribution to the World’s economy is the reason why the United Nations hived off its calendar, a day to specially celebrate MSMEs. On 27 June 2018 the World poses for a moment to celebrates – for the first time – the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day. The day is meant to help raise public awareness of their contribution to sustainable development.

Here in Kenya, the immense contribution of SMEs to the country’s economy cannot be belabored. Given though, the SMEs have been running through as many challenges ranging from access to finances to lack of harmonized licensing process between the central Government and the county governments. Despite all these challenges, it must be said that the government seem to be committed to the course of SMEs growth though initiatives such as Uwezo Funds, introduction of Huduma Centers to ease registration process amongst others.

On the other hand, the same Government seem to be giving the same SMEs a cold shoulder when it comes to matters such as disinclination to repeal the interest rates caps, which has evidently been hurting local SMEs. Currently, Treasury has trained its eyes on introducing presumptive tax next year, which is aimed at reducing the compliance burden for small businesses.

“As one of Kenya’s SMEs we feel the government needs to be more sensitive to the SMEs ecosystem as it seeks to acquire more revenue. Increasing taxes for SMEs will result to stretching an already tired private sector,” says Mr. George Wachiuri, Optiven Group’s CEO.

He notes that the Government needs to seal misappropriation loopholes and up its commitment to necessitating the right environment for doing business for a healthier private sector. “We look forward to a more enhanced environment of doing business. ICT enabled concepts such as E-citizen should be made efficient.

Even more importantly, we should not encourage introduction of punitive laws that undermine the growth of the very bedrock of Kenya’s economy. With a focus on the bigger picture other that an urge to quickly satisfy a transitory fiscal deficit, we will collectively realize the huge entrepreneurial potential in our great country,” says Mr. Wachiuri.

Although MSMEs generate the most new jobs, they face many challenges in day-   to-day operations and to grow. Access to finance is often cited as one of the primary obstacles that affect MSMEs disproportionately. According to the World Bank, there are 200 to 245 million formal and informal enterprises that do not have a loan or overdraft, but are in need of one, or do have a loan but still find access to finance as a constraint. More than 90 percent are MSMEs.

George Wachiuri is an Entrepreneur, a Philanthropist, a Motivational Speaker and the CEO, Optiven Group. To get more details on how you can invest with Optiven Ltd. Kindly talk to us via 0702 831083 , 0738 831083, Email; info@optiven.co.ke.  Website: http://www.optiven.co.ke