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SMEs, startups to access business training for growth



The Association of Startup and SMEs Enablers of Kenya (ASSEK) has embarked on training small businesses and Startups in order to help them transform into large enterprises.

By designing tailor made business programmes that supports their needs, the association also targets to help the businesses increase their productivity and quality of their services and products.

“We have transformed SMEs and Startups by matching them with the right coach and mentor to help them grow. This is done by ensuring they have access to international opportunities though the stakeholders that we have partnered with. This has enabled many to sell their services and products regionally and beyond,” said Mercy Kimalat, ASSEK Chief Executive Officer.

Kimalat said SMEs and startups trained through their programmes would also benefit from seed funding adding that the small businesses will have access to diversified funding tailored to their needs through the ASSEK network who also de-risks them through seed grants and providing technical support.

Currently, most small businesses and startups rely on family savings and bank loans with no access to professional business support to help them access standardisation services and product improvement services that would help them gain international market access.

The association has been actively involved in formulation of Startup Bill, a framework that creates incentives for local and international investors to catalyse local innovations thereby benefiting local innovators by helping fasttrack development of new products for the market.

“The key objective of ASSEK is to boost job creation and growth. This forum facilitates a collaborative discussion focused on realigning the collective vision for ASSEK, identifying emerging opportunities, and fostering an environment conducive to meaningful networking,” she added.

The association also attributes its activities to increased inclusion in the ecosystem, standardisation of approaches, collaboration in attracting investment opportunities, job creation, value addition to local and international stakeholders enabling the innovation space in Kenya as well as policy-makers, enterprise support organisations (ESO’s), financial supporters and more.

Assek is also spearheading the formation of a regulatory body for ESOs which will ensure startups and SMEs receive professional business support and investor-linkages thereby enabling them to scale at a faster rate.

Since launch more than five years ago, ASSEK has grown from 40 members to 150 entrepreneur support organisations currently.

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