The Government has inaugurated the second cohort of the Kenya Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program (KIEP 250+).
The program, through the Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry (MITI), will enhance Kenya’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)’s landscape by boosting their growth and innovation including those owned by Persons with disabilities.
In a press release after the launch of KIEP 250+ Cohort II Call for Applications, Dr. Juma Mukhwana, the Principal Secretary (PS), State Department of Industry in the Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry, encouraged SMEs that provide opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (PWD), youth, and women-led enterprises to apply for KIEP 250+ in order to unlock their full potential, expand their businesses, and contribute to the realization of Kenya’s vision of becoming a globally competitive economy.
He noted that the government was committed to selecting SMEs from all corners of the country, with at least 20 percent of them being women-owned businesses.
“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 said.
The Sh 5 billion (USD50 million), KIEP project implemented in partnership with the World Bank, offers performance-based grant funding for technical assistance to SMEs to upgrade and achieve their full potential by identifying sustainable growth paths and receiving support from expert business development service providers.
The Programme provides targeted support to SMEs, through a comprehensive package of resources, mentorship, and funding and addresses the challenges faced by SMEs in accessing finance, market opportunities, and technical expertise.
Through the KIEP 250+ Cohort II Call for Applications, the government is inviting SMEs from various sectors that have been in operation for at least two years and have demonstrated potential for growth and innovation.
“Successful applicants will receive tailored support based on their specific needs and aspirations. It will include access to financing options, business development services, mentorship from industry experts, and networking opportunities,” the PS said.
The SMEs, he added, will be equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to overcome challenges and seize growth opportunities, and with direct support the KIEP 250+ program also aims to create an enabling environment for SMEs, by advocating for policy reforms that promote entrepreneurship and innovation.
To participate in the program, SMEs must be legally registered in Kenya, have been in operation for a minimum of two years, and boast an annual turnover ranging from Sh 50 million to Sh 1 billion.
Additionally, 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.
SOURCE: Kenya News Agency