The Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Industry and
Trade has today launched the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP). This project aims at strengthening startups and SMEs in the Country. Initially, similar projects have been paralyzed due to lack
of innovative skills and low productivity.
Presenting an overview of the project, KIEP Project Coordinator, Mr. Stephen Odua outlined that the project would have three components with component 1 involving strengthening the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem to improve the survival and growth rates of technology-enabled startups in Kenya through a stronger innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and talent base; Component 2, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) linkages and upgrading to strengthen the productivity and internal capabilities for innovation of SMEs, so that they can better compete for local and international market opportunities, and; Component 3, outreach, Monitoring and Evaluation, and project implementation support to ensure the implementation and sustainability of the Project’s activities.
While launching the project, the Principal Secretary State Department of Industrialization, Ms. Betty Maina, highlighted that KIEP will aim to strengthen the innovation ecosystem as part of the implementation of the Kenya industrial transformation program.
She noted that there was need for more innovation in the industrial space to increase productivity “Our Country can grow leaps and bounds by commercializing these innovations,” she said. Further to this, she highlighted that the project was anchored on the SME policy in a bid to assist SMEs to be more productive as this was the sector where industrialization will be realized.
SMEs will be supported to grow and expand to meet the needs of customers locally and internationally. In her concluding remarks, Ms. Maina emphasized that Kenya would realize the benefits of the project if everyone would come together to grow in a much more sustainable manner.
In his remarks, World Bank Country Director, Mr. Felipe Jaramillo emphasized that development was the key to economic growth and job creation and noted that KIEP would be making its mark in the digital ecosystem while addressing broader technological challenges in Kenya. He further expressed his joy to note that the project would be offering customized support to women entrepreneurs and women run SME’s which would encourage female students to upgrade their technical skills. Concluding his remarks, Mr. Felipe reiterated that the World Bank was happy to support and was looking forward to KIEP making its impact in the economy.
The project will be funded through US$ 50 million loan from the World Bank. The Government of Kenya will also contribute US$ 5 million to support project activities and funding to emerging innovation facilities
in the Counties. This project will benefit 33,050 individuals and 2,393 firms in Kenya.The project will steer job creation, growth in the markets, wealth creation and the Presidential Digital Talent Program that intends to enhance the next generation of ICT leadership and digital talent to transform the nation. The project will run for a period of six years and will cut across all the 47 Counties in Kenya.