Author: Wanjiku Njugunah

Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

Women-owned and led SMEs (WSMEs) in Kenya face structural barriers that limit their ability to secure contracts with large companies for growth. This is according to an IFC study published today that recommends ways banks and large businesses can better support female entrepreneurs. The study was commissioned as part of IFC’s wider efforts to connect women entrepreneurs to new markets and is titled Sourcing2Equal Kenya: Barriers and Approaches to Increase Access to Markets for Women-Owned Businesses. It found that women-owned businesses face challenges accessing finance, business networks, and market information, hence limiting their ability to take on large contracts. The…

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Kenyan-based lender Family Bank Limited has officially rang the bell to mark the listing and the commencement of trading of its corporate bond at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). The country’s Capital Markets Authority gave a nod to list the first tranche of its Medium Term Note under the Fixed Income Market Segment at the NSE after a successful offer that raised a total of US$40.6 million against a US27.8 million target, marking a subscription of 147.3 percent. Early in June, the Authority allowed the mid-tier lender to issue an US$74.1 million multicurrency Medium Term Note (MTN) programme in tranches.…

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A new report has revealed that ICT and Agriculture are the leading host sectors for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya. The 2021 MSMEs Survey Report by Kenya Bankers Association also ranks manufacturing and construction among the dominant hubs for the enterprises that collectively create an estimated 15 million employment opportunities in the economy. The study, conducted by the KBA Centre for Research on Financial Markets and Policy in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in May this year, further indicates over 90 percent of the 279 MSMEs sample analyzed were registered, signaling a high level…

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After facing unprecedented changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) confidence in Sub-Saharan Africa is on the rise, according to the latest research by Mastercard. The inaugural Middle East and Africa (MEA) SME Confidence Index found 74 percent of SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa are optimistic about the next 12 months. In fact, 68 percent of SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa are projecting revenues that will either grow or hold steady. Almost half at 48 percent are projecting an increase. Upskilling, training, development support and access to credit for future growth As many regional economies gradually…

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The East African Community has tabled before the East African Legislative Assembly the budget estimates for the 2021/2022 Financial Year totaling US$91,784,296. The Chairperson of the Council of Ministers and Kenya’s Minister for EAC, Adan Mohamed, in the Budget Speech read on his behalf by Chief Administrative Secretary, Ken Obura, said that the 2021/2022 budget was coming at a time the COVID-19 pandemic had ravaged economies through lockdowns and economic shutdowns that had affected economic performance in the entire region negatively. The 2021/2022 Budget is themed Economic Recovery through Industrialization and Inclusive Growth. On priorities for the 2021/2022 FY, Mohamed…

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Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways PLC has announce the resumption of flights to Heathrow, London from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) after a three-month break. The direct flights, which begun on 26th of June 2021, follows the lifting of the suspension of flights to from the United Kingdom by the Government of Kenya. The ban was effected on April 9, in retaliation of a similar move by the UK, when they placed Kenya in a list of its prohibited destination. According to the airline, flights from London will include a one-stop connection through Nairobi to the rest of Kenya…

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Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has issued the first set of licenses to five coffee brokers in line with the Capital Markets (Coffee Exchange) Regulations, 2020. In a statement, the Authority says the licenses will allow the brokers to carry out the role of coffee brokerage services at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) with effect from 1 July 2021. Meru County Coffee Marketing Agency Limited has been granted a full coffee broker licence, while others, which include Kipkelion Brokerage Company Limited, and Murang’a County Coffee Dealers Company have been granted conditional licences. According to the Authority, they are expected to…

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Nairobi-based real estate developer Fusion Capital Limited has raised over US$8 million towards the completion of Greenwood City Mall, in Meru County in Kenya. The company, which doubles up as a private equity firm, had previously structured the financing of the mall as a Development Real Estate Investment Trust (D-Reit) which achieved a 38 percent subscription against the set threshold of 50 percent subscription, but the Shareholders of Meru Greenwood Park dropped the DREIT in favor of private funding for the development. According to the firm, the construction of the mall has now fully been funded privately by investors from…

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The shareholders of Equity Group Holdings Plc have passed resolutions that will reinforce the governance structures of the Group, continue to diversify the Board composition, and also assure investors of dividend pay-out every year as long as the Company posts profits. In a statement, the Group says shareholders voted for the Amendment of Articles 1 and 79 of the Articles of Association of the Company thereby reinforcing its governance structure and signaling the growing significance of Equity Group Foundation as the social impact investment arm and custodian of the purpose of the Group. Speaking after the AGM, the Group Board…

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Fairtrade International has committed to double the average income of farmers and workers in Africa. Speaking during the ongoing 7th Africa Fairtrade Conference, Fairtrade International Board Chair Lynette Thorstensen said despite the hard times brought about by Covid-19, there is hope for the future of African farmers. “This has been a very tough year globally, however, let us look at the future with optimism,” she said. According to Thorstensen, Fairtrade International set aside a Covid relief fund in which more than 10.5 million Euros was raised by external governments, retailers, crowdfunding as well as internal sources by pledges from members…

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