KEPSA: 25 Local Business to Join First Cohort of the Kenya -US SMEs Trade Initiative.

 KEPSA: 25 Local Business to Join First Cohort of the Kenya -US SMEs Trade Initiative.

Lorna Mukasa, Proprietor Tungatunga Handcrafts, is a past beneficiary of the KEPSA SME support initiatives under the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience program that offered Interest Free Business Loans, Expert and Peer to Peer Mentorship as well as Access to Finance Coaching for SMEs between 2020 and 2021. Shop Tungatunga located in Hurlingham Nairobi, offers an online and physical market place for other budding SMEs to display and sell their wares. Img/ KEPSA

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), has announced the recruitment of the first cohort of twenty-five businesses in the Kenya-US Small and Medium Enterprises Trade Initiative.

The twenty-five local SMEs, looking to either scale up globally or grow exports to the US market, will be provided with sector specific information on business opportunities in the US markets.

This is in addition to imports and exports business exchanges among other initiatives aimed at improving market access and linkages between SMES in the two countries.

The Kenya-US SME Trade Initiative aims to support greater US-Kenya trade under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). 

KEPSA

Signed in New York in November 2021 by Carole Kariuki, CEO, KEPSA and Florie Liser, President and CEO, Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), in the presence of H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, The Kenya-US SME Trade Initiative aims to support greater US-Kenya trade under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). 

Speaking during the virtual launch Florie Liser, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), introduced CCA as the leading US business association focused solely on promoting and facilitating US-Africa trade, investment, and commercial engagement.

“Our member companies are multinationals and SMEs active in Africa’s key growth sectors, including agribusiness, health, energy, ICT, trade, and finance. We serve as an intermediary between our member firms and essential U.S. and African government and private sector leaders to facilitate successful business initiatives in Africa,” she said.

…the US-Kenya SME Trade Initiative provides a unique platform to facilitate US and Kenya SME partnerships, support women and youth-run Kenyan entrepreneurs as well as US women, minority, and diaspora owned businesses, and to help SMEs in both countries address the current challenges in accessing the two markets…

KEPSA CEO

Carole Kariuki, CEO, KEPSA said that the US-Kenya SME Trade Initiative provides a unique platform to facilitate US and Kenya SME partnerships, support women and youth-run Kenyan entrepreneurs as well as US women, minority, and diaspora owned businesses, and to help SMEs in both countries address the current challenges in accessing the two markets. 

“Eighty percent of jobs in Kenya are created by the SMEs who play a critical role in supporting economic stability and enabling the country to cope with related shocks resulting from periodic economic cycles. To underscore how important SMEs are to our economy, data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics record that SMEs accounted for 83.6% of total employment created in the year 2019,” she said.

Also present at the event was Jas Bedi, Chairman, Kenya Export Promotion & Branding Agency (KEPROBA), and Vice-Chair KEPSA. Others were Sam Mwale, KEPSA Advisor and US Representative and Miguel Estien, National Director, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and SMEs among other attendees from Kenya and the US.

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