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USAID, Kenya Investment Mechanism hold ACCESS forum to empower SMEs

Winnie Cheptoo - August 4, 2022 - 0 comments

By Kwabe Victor

USAID, Kenya Investment Mechanism(KIM) held a learning forum themed ACCESS and Impact mainly to empower SMEs, Informal business persons and the agriculture sector players.

The event presents a knowledge-sharing opportunity for businesses to access funds for investments by SMEs and farmers.

During the event, Ann Mwenje KIM’s Financial Institutions Director said that through togetherness and coordination there is to be the ability to consult, plan and arranging of enterprise documents from production to marketing.

“Such data if well documented will enable investors to be enlightened making the chances of funding simpler for business,”

Mwenje cited that the main challenge is the informality of the businesses in Kenya which makes it appear difficult for the financial institutions and commercial banks to chip in.

Urging on the importance of consulting which is a service offered by CMA, BASPS that have been around for a while other than for the less awareness of their need and value. It’s through consulting that farmers are able to comprehend that grouping in social groups heightens their chances of getting funds to equip their production.

Despite the narrative that has been ongoing which has an apparent result of fewer commercial banks and financial institutions having a will to invest in the agriculture sector and players. As much as others are willing to offer loans and funding there is a bit of challenge in the response time since seasons keep shifting which dictates swift actions, in terms of planting, weeding and input of fertilizer periods.

Evidenced is the will by Commercial, Investment banks and Financial Institutions from the steps they are taking to empower women and youths’ SMEs, MSMEs and farmers in support and financial inclusions.

Such as Family Banks’ partnership with Value for Women to further the enabling conditions for women in business and agriculture.

Through scrutiny and consultation of products to bring to the market, farmers are able to impact the market as they come up with a scarce product in the avenue. Empowering farmers need to entail financing from the production level to enable farmers to make proper returns.

One of the ways farmers can benefit is the Juhudika Application which not only enlightens farmers but also enables access to loans for farmers irrespective of the paper works loads.

Julian Mitchell CEO Inspira Farms, said that the major challenge is few and at times no consultations are done by farmers while this is a necessity as the farmer gets to select the best products, and technology most eligible.

This post originally appeared here on July 27, 2022.

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