Ready, set, scale: Integrating Kenyan SMEs in the devolved government

By Editorial team

 Since Kenya’s announcement to devolve its system of governance to the County level, the path for SMEs to launch and expand their business is expected to become easier. According to a new survey by ThinkRoom, Kenya comes 8th out of 12 sub-Saharan African countries in terms of ease of doing business. The report, which measures the average number of days it takes to start a business estimates the process to take 30 days in Kenya, consisting of ten steps. A devolved system is expected to make this process much simpler.

However, as devolution occurs, business leaders are faced with challenges related to how to coordinate, motivate and keep employees productive as they start to spend a majority of their time working remotely. This is where Microsoft’s cloud computing and online platforms will help African SMBs collaborate in real-time, with scalable, relevant products and services. Mobile devices and cloud computing enable SMBs to expand locally as well as find business opportunities outside of their headquarters or office base. This then increases their overall competitiveness.

Microsoft through the 4Afrika initiative aims to get one million SMBs online by offering cloud platforms such as the Biz4Afrika Portal and the Virtual Academy. Biz4Afrika is an Africa-wide network of SMEs designed to enable a sustainable and connected community of entrepreneurs that will have a meaningful impact on job creation, global competitiveness and wealth creation in the long run.  The goal is to build an ecosystem of people and businesses online as well as empower small to medium-size enterprises, across the continent with access to technology, resources and skills development.

Employees increasingly want the freedom to get their work done on remote desktops and mobile devices. Microsoft through the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) also accommodates this need by easily delivering a consistent, familiar experience across PCs and devices. 

While mobility adds value to your business, it can also add risk, as devices and laptops are all too often lost or stolen. With VDI, your data stays on the server—so you can give employees easy remote access to on-site applications, with the peace-of-mind that company information is kept on the server where it is backed up and up-to-date.

In conclusion, if Kenya wants a strong economy and a great future, an enabling environment is required. A window of opportunity to embrace mobile and cloud solutions has been opened through the County system of government, with its focus on local economic development opportunities based on local resources. With changing governments comes promises of a better tomorrow and the definition of new business policies, reconstruction of the economy and improvement of infrastructure and security. Small businesses are able to be more mobile and nimble than ever before. They have lots to look forward to.

Would you like to network with and hear from successful leaders in the Small and Medium Business World? Join us for a candid discussion about the challenges that businesses are facing in the region and hear from local success stories such as Kevin Ashley CEO of Java Coffee House and Agosta Liko CEO of Pesapal. Come and share your thoughts and experiences during this evening that promises to provide deep insights into the challenges of doing Business Anywhere across East Africa / Kenya.

Register here and join the discussion today using our #businessanywhereKE
Friday December 4th at 6:30pm at The Foundry, Raphta Road, Westlands.

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