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State to streamline micro and small enterprises

By Graham Kajilwa | November 16th 2021
By Graham Kajilwa | November 16th 2021
Micro And Small Enterprises Authority(MSEA) CEO Henry Rithaa. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The government will register five million micro and small business persons under the relevant State agency in the next one year to formalise the sector.

According to the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA), there are about 15,000 individuals from 467 associations registered in the sector. MSEA chief executive Henry Rithaa said the exercise is key for planning and streamlining the sector.

Mr Rithaa, who was speaking during the handover of equipment to the agency, including vehicles from the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) to assist in the registration process, said the database will be key in assisting the government and other agencies to support specific intervention targeting specific micro and small enterprises.

“We cannot plan for you if we do not know what you do,” said Rithaa, noting that the sector plays a key role in employing millions of Kenyans.

He said last year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the largely informal sector offered employment for 14.5 million Kenyans. Numbers in the previous year were 15 million.

Rithaa said while there are 7.41 million micro and small enterprises in the country, 75 per cent are not licensed. “It means they are operating under the radar of the government’s fiscal planning,” he said.

He said the registration will uncover opportunities and challenges that micro and small enterprises face. UNDP Representative in Kenya Walid Badawi said the formalisation of the informal sector will also allow the country to take advantage of the international market such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.

“Kenya is a hotbed of industries and manufacturing and you will not survive only on the local market or if your sector is fragmented,” he said.

The vehicles and IT equipment donated by UNDP is part of its Sh27.9 million support to boost MSEA’s registration exercise of small businesses.  

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