The KIEP 250+ initiative was launched in 2020 to support SMEs to increase productivity and capacity as well as foster innovations. Having rolled out 1st phase, this year the Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are set to access funding and technical assistance for the second cohort from the government through the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP) 250+ project.
State Department for Industry Principal Secretary (PS) Juma Mukhwana said that SMEs will benefit from performance-based grant funding to develop and support their businesses adding that this year’s enrollment will focus on manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, housing, and settlement.
“Successful Small and Medium Enterprises business owners who applied for the KIEP Project will also be equipped with managerial skills and technical assistance to improve their productivity, strengthen innovation and enhance competitiveness,” PS Mukhwana said.
The PS indicated that the government is committed to supporting SMEs since they play a crucial role in building the country’s economy. Further adding that SMEs should be able to boast an annual turnover ranging from Sh50 million to Sh1 billion to be eligible for the program.
“We have officially opened the second application window for eligible SMEs to benefit from KIEP 250+. The project aims to build competitive world-class SMEs, thereby enhancing Kenya’s manufacturing sector and entrepreneurship ecosystem,” he stated.
The Sh5 billion project is implemented by the government in partnership with the World Bank. It will support at least 20 percent of businesses owned by women.
“SMEs must be nominated by a lead firm, financial institution, or business association and have a management team willing to commit to a performance improvement plan.”
The KIEP 250+ team leader, Maarten Susan, affirmed that the project will address various challenges raised by SMEs by mobilizing working capital, technology, and expertise to support the creation of a sustainable innovation ecosystem.
“Kenya’s SME sector has previously encountered market failures, including low productivity, marginalized innovation, and gaps in linkages between traditional industries and SMEs,” she said.