The second edition of the Annual SME Conference, convened in partnership with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI), the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa), Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) and the Jua Kali Association, run from Thursday, March 18th to Saturday, March 20th at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
The conference builds on the momentum of the inaugural one that was convened under the theme, ‘Powering SMEs for Growth’ on February 24 – 25 last year. The last edition attracted 6,000 participants, 91 exhibitors and parastatal heads, and was graced by seven Cabinet Secretaries including Interior CS Fred Matiang’i. It was co-hosted by KNCCI President, Mr Richard Ngatia. Business leaders, policy makers, diplomats, innovators, researchers, young entrepreneurs, and students, among others were also at the event.
This year’s conference, themed ‘Resilience, Recovery and Sustainability’, capitalised on the opportunities and innovations available to MSMEs to help them win. NMG Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stephen Gitagama, said that the conference and expo offered SMEs an opportunity to showcase their products and opened up an avenue for dialogue with stakeholders, potential partnerships, SME clinics, business sustainability coaching, financial empowerment and support. Over 160 exhibitors attended the expo to showcase their wares.
“This economy is significantly driven by SMEs and a number of them were affected in 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic. We have structured this year’s conference to help in recovery and sustainability,” Mr Gitagama said. Some of the guests that graced the three-day event included senior government officials such as Cabinet Secretaries and stakeholders from different sectors of the economy, who engaged Kenyans in discussions on various issues affecting the economy. NMG’s Commercial General Manager James Sogoti said the event also provided an opportunity for SMEs and other businesses to get questions they have been having answered by regulators, as well as for businesses to show case their innovations.