Last week, Kenya became the first Sub-Saharan nation to host the much coveted Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). We hyped it, talked about it, and it eventually happened, but what’s important, is that it played a more significant role to our country economically (Click To Tweet).
Today’s Chase Debate sought to find out what the next course of action is for young entrepreneurs after the Global Entrepreneurship Summit? This is because, the GES brought together over 4000 young, vibrant, energetic and talented innovators and entrepreneurs from all around the world. Top entrepreneurs shared ideas on how to scale up a successful domestic business to compete globally. During the GES, Kenya signed various profitable economic deals that were tailored towards benefiting Kenyans through multi-million dollar deals that were signed by both the public sector and the private sector. Read More.
At Chase Bank we committed $600 million (KES 60 billion) to support SMEs, with a focus on Youth & Women (Click To Tweet). The funds are aimed at ensuring that credit lines are extended to those entrepreneurs who would otherwise not have access to formal financing. This being a part of our current strategy which focuses on the SME entrepreneur, we have made a significant difference in partnering with SMEs in the Youth, Women, Trade and Agri Business segment. The fund is also expected to supplement government efforts to expand funding for SME’s through initiatives like the Uwezo Fund. Read More on how to access these funds.
In 2014, Chase Woman sought a lending partnership with IFC (International Finance Corporation), where a loan of $25M was approved, and the first tranche of $15M was disbursed. The purpose of the loan is to empower women by lending affordable loans, while also growing the portfolio of SMEs in the bank. Read More on how to access these funds.
The GES weekend was a big win for entrepreneurs, especially women and youths. And therefore as a country, we need to put structures in place to let them chase their dreams. One of the biggest challenge presented by entrepreneurs is usually the lack of capital to fund their businesses, and the GES highlighted this challenge and provided a platform through which entrepreneurs can seek access to funding, especially from the government and financial service providers. There are many more hurdles we need to overcome if we are to truly get value from these offerings, and in this case, as an entrepreneur, you need to get your house in order. For instance, ensure that your business has a business plan, proper registration, licenses & books are kept in order.
Entrepreneurship is all about identifying gaps in the society and finding a way to fill them – which then calls for innovation. Innovations comes in many different forms and they’re not just limited to technology. Technology is a driver, but not an end in itself. Therefore all sectors, both technology and non-technology driven are just as important to the growth of the economy. So what are you doing today? In fact, John F. Kennedy once said that,
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
What’s needed to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation is to provide capacity building, mentorship and financial inclusion. To teach them how to run and scale their micro-enterprises, how to sharpen their management and business skills in order to be in a position to make grow their enterprise. At Chase Bank, we have established SME Biz Hubs as our way of promoting Kenyan entrepreneurs. They will present an opportunity for our clients and non-clients to hold meetings while providing the client with access to financial & non-financial services. Services such as advisory services from our dedicated Relationship & Portfolio Managers, internet access and meeting rooms for networking with other market players and presentations to their customers.
We have also streamlined our business product propositions & simplified our service offerings giving our SMEs so much more. So, are you an entrepreneur looking to network with other like-minded individuals? Our new SME Biz Hubs are located at Hurlinghum Branch, Nairobi and Moi Avenue Branch, Mombasa.
It’s clear that with the Global Entrepreneurship Summit now wrapped up & the prevailing issues discussed from a global perspective, it’s now up to us, as a nation, to encourage entrepreneurship & innovation. To forge new markets and create new opportunities; to make youth unemployment and gender segregation a thing of the past. The jury is not out on whether we are taking advantage of the $1 Billion in new commitments announced by Obama, only time will tell. However, the power is in our hands. It’s up to us to make the promises delivered during the GES a reality.
Thank you for engaging with us, we appreciate each view expressed today. Have an exciting Furahiday.
In case you missed the online conversation on Chase Debate, you can check it out here.