Big boost for SMEs as KEBS steps in to ease operating challenges - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 12 September 2020

Big boost for SMEs as KEBS steps in to ease operating challenges

 Traders at a section of Kibuye market./FILE

Small and medium enterprises are set to enjoy a raft of preferential benefits from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) following the passing of a policy geared at supporting their growth.

A communique issued by KEBS Board Chairman Eng Bernard Ngore, confirms that among other benefits, MSMEs will now enjoy graduated costs for all services offered by the national standards body.

The graduated application of fees payable to KEBS, Ngore said will help meet the needs of start-ups’ and upcoming entrepreneurs including Jua Kali business operators.

They have previously been paying applicable rates at the same rate as established corporates.

Statistical data estimates that Kenya’s MSMEs contribute approximately 40 per cent of the GDP with the majority falling in the informal sector. 

Conscious of the challenges facing upcoming entrepreneurs including access to affordable financing options, the application of graduated fees, Ngore said will help promote standards compliance.

He added that KEBS would also foster Intellectual property (IP) use among MSMEs, increase IPR related skills through education and training, and make the overall IP system friendlier to MSMEs by streamlining procedures, adequately structuring fees and costs, improving litigation and enforcement mechanisms.

“We have heard our stakeholders and customers and we recognize that the MSME sector is disadvantaged in comparison to larger businesses and have undertaken to provide discounted rates and charges for players in the MSME sector,” Ngore said.

The new MSME policy is envisioning a vibrant sector sustainably producing high quality products accessible to local and global markets.

KEBS commitments to the MSME sector come hot on the heels of recent rapid result interventions undertaken by the standards body to cushion the industry from the impact of the pandemic.

As part of a sector response, the body recently developed and eight standards relating to goods and services for the containment of Covid-19 pandemic and availed them to manufacturers free of charge on the KEBS website.

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