- TheSMELink Conference is scheduled from the 20th to 22nd April 2022 at the Movenpick Hotel
- SMEs contribute up to 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product across emerging economies generating 70 per cent of employment opportunities
- The conference is part of a strategic objective to connect 50 million Small and Medium Enterprises to Money, Markets and Mentors by 2027
Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya are expecting to end the month of April with an optimistic perspective as Vusi Thembekwayo plans to meet Kenyan SMEs from 20th to 22nd April 2022.
The 35-year-old is one of Africa’s youngest, most sought after global speakers, venture capitalist, business leader and among the most successful entrepreneurs on the continent. He is set to visit Kenya to engage with SMEs to help them manoeuvre the pressure of the COVID -19 pandemic that disrupted many businesses.
TheSMELink Conference is scheduled from the 20th to 22nd April 2022 at the Movenpick Hotel. The conference has been organized by SMELink International in partnership with the SME Founders Association. It is part of a strategic objective to connect 50 million Small and Medium Enterprises to Money, Markets and Mentors by 2027 to foster the creation of decent and sustainable jobs and reduction of poverty. The climax of the conference will be pitching sessions for SMEs christened Rhino’s Den, where Sh100 million (US$870,000) will be up for grabs for the most solid pitches.
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SMEs account for 80 per cent of all the employed people in Kenya.
Vusi Thembekwayo is the keynote speaker of the three-day SME conference that will bring together all stakeholders in the SME sector as the organizers target to equip, empower and enable MSMEs to access business opportunities. The conference is placing a deeper focus on youth and women-owned businesses to be part of the continental market equation.
“The Conference is part of our strategic objectives to connect 50 million SMEs to Money, Markets and Mentors by 2027 to foster the creation of decent and sustainable jobs and reduction of poverty,” said Patrick Ojil, Executive Director SME Link International.
SMELink International is an SME networking platform that Links SMEs with opportunities both locally and globally. They have a database of resources for technical expertise, financiers, online training, market surveys, knowledge sharing and partnerships.
The TheSMELink conference will connect SMEs to opportunities within the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and global markets and hold discussions that will advocate for digitized trade and networking mechanisms that will excite youth inclusion Women in business.
Frida Owinga, the founder of SME Founders Association, explained that there was value in targeting SMEs with sustainable solutions to help their businesses scale, saying, “SMEs in Africa and across the globe form the largest contributors of employment and provide a source of income to the largest proportion of the population. SMEs also account for most businesses worldwide and are important contributors to job creation and overall global economic development.”
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Frida added that SMEs contribute up to 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product across emerging economies, and SMEs generate 70 per cent of employment opportunities in emerging markets.
“SMEs in Kenya are an underexploited resource with significant potential to boost inclusive growth,” she added.
SME Founders Association (SFA) is a learning and networking organization that enhances SMEs ‘ competence, compliance and ability to access capital as a strategy to foster the creation of decent and sustainable work. This is achieved by providing support to enhance MSMEs’ competence through affordable Business Development Services (BDS); compliance through partnerships with government and regulators, which enhances their access to capital.
Key speakers in TheSMELink conference
SMEs attending the conference will have the pleasure of listening to notable critical speakers, including;
- Kris Senanu, Chief Enterprise Business Officer at Safaricom, the most significant business enterprise in Kenya
- Andia Chakava, the Founding Principal of AC Advisory.
- Director Graça Machel, Trust and founding Chairperson of New Face New Voices Kenya chapter.
- Eric Osiakwan, Managing Partner, Chanzo Capital.
- Flora Mutahi, the Founder of Melvin Marsh International.
- Esther Muchemi Samchi Group CEO.
- Geofrey Odundo, CEO of Nairobi Securities Exchange.
- David Osiany, the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialization Trade and Enterprise Development
- James Mureu, the chairman of Micro and Small Business Authority Board, among others.
Significant topics in TheSMELink conference in Kenya
Key topics to be addressed in the conference include;
- Trade linkages, markets, opportunities at the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
- How Kenyan SMEs can reach the global markets
- Trade requirements to foster friendly relations with regulators
- SMEs funding
- Business scaling, among others.
The organizers plan to hold other Subsequent conferences that will take place in Africa’s Key Markets to build an ecosystem of innovative and sustainable ventures, as well as the rest of the world that include the United Arab Emirates, Asia, Europe and the United States of America.
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