Laikipia, SG to partner on SME and innovation promotion

NEWS |
Laikipia Governor's Ndiritu Muriithi receives a gift from Standard Group CEO Orlando Lyomu at Laikipia Governor's Office on November 12, 2021. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

The Standard Group PLC and the Laikipia County government are planning a partnership to promote small and medium enterprises.

Governor Ndiritu Muriithi, who spoke when Standard Group CEO Orlando Lyomu paid him a courtesy call on Friday, said their focus is on the 1,500 traders under their acclaimed Laikipia Innovation and Enterprise Development Programme (LIEDP).

The number of businesses supported under LIEDP has grown from 55 in 2018 to the current number. The county government hopes to increase the number of beneficiaries to 5,000.

The enterprises supported range from agricultural value addition, start-ups, car assembly and machinery. The programme is also supporting those involved in the processing of infrastructure materials such as cabro paving blocks from recycled materials.

The governor said: "A partnership with a reputable national media house will give the startups and innovations from the area a serious platform for takeoff."

"We have our SMEs in car fabrication, miraa juice and agricultural machinery that can really do with a national spotlight. We see the Standard Group as perfectly suited for this," said Muriithi.

Mr Lyomu said the Standard Group PLC has vibrant products that can propel the partnership, including the Enterprise pullout in The Standard newspaper and various programmes on KTN.

"Because we appreciate the fact that the bigger percentage of business startups eventually fail, we have included a section where a panel of experts dole out advice on how to navigate the complicated business environment," said the Standard Group CEO.

Lyomu said Standard Group was committed to news reporting that offered solutions to challenges facing the country.

He said the company was also revamping its advertising to provide space to small businesses to advertise online at a reasonable cost.

The CEO also praised devolution as a revolution that has changed many of Kenya's rural townships into thriving economies.

"Today you can go anywhere in this country and you will get decent accommodation. This was almost impossible a few years ago," said Lyomu.

Muriithi urged the media to focus on analytical reporting with depth that encourages national discourses on political developments.

"We have seen that countries that have vibrant political space have the ability to get economic take-off," said Muriithi.   

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