Friday, 16 February 2018

Kenya Needs a Centralised Information Database For its SMEs

Maasai women make, sell and display their bead work in Kajiado, Kenya. 2010. Photo: © Georgina Goodwin/World Bank

A centralised information database will enhance efficiency in planning, capacity building and providing support for Kenya’s Small Medium Enterprises.

“We need to have databases of the SMEs, their products. A centralized database will help give lenders information on prospective clients. SMEs must also be empowered in terms of capacity building,” said Ms. Ibukunoluwa Odegbaike the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, East Africa.

Ibukun Odegbaike said there are a lot of opportunities for regional trade between Kenya and the East African Community member states and also within the wider international trade arena.

For this to be achieved, she urged the SME sector to pool resources together to compete internationally.

“In terms of the volumes we have, Kenya does not have manufactured volumes at the level of China. So we do not have critical volumes coming from SMEs. Whilst one person is manufacturing a certain output that does not meet international demand we now need to see how to pool output so as to compete with countries like China,” she said.

She was talking about ‘SMEs and Regional Trade’   discussion which is part of a series of online sessions organised by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA).

The #CEOChat is held every quarter where selected Chief Executives of Banks host live chat sessions while giving their views on the various topics related to banking over a period of four weeks.

The GT Bank CEO also disclosed that KBA will soon be launching the Inuka Enterprise Capacity Building Program which is a free online resource for SMEs.

“After building capacity, the next is access to capital. If you look at Kenya relative to other countries in Africa, we rank top in terms of access to credit for SMEs, so while we say we are not doing enough, there is something we are doing right. That said, there is still more we can do to address the challenges of the ease of doing business to complement the progress that has been made in access to finance,” she observed.

Read:  Getting Angel Investors Together Will Save Kenya’s SME Sector 

Further, she noted the immense trade opportunities between Africa and other continents compared to within ourselves and called for more efforts to be done to promote intra Africa trade.

“For instance, when you look at the figures from Kenya Bureau of Statistics, we see that Kenya has many international trading partners. In horticulture, for example, our largest market is the Netherlands and other European countries. How can we promote more appreciation of this lucrative export within Africa? We do have trade with several countries like Uganda, Egypt, DRC, Tanzania but there are 54 countries in Africa so we can do much more.”

SMEs to avoid the FX risk, they need to take positions by match currency for currency.

“If you are an importer who gets products from China, as you source your products, you wouldn't go to a bank and take a loan facility in dollars because tomorrow if there is a weakening in the Kenya shilling, the loan repayment amount would be higher and therefore you would need more shillings to service that US Dollar facility and you may not be able to pass that cost to the consumer of your products and services. So you need to match currency for currency, which means the currency that you earn in is the currency you borrow in. If you sell in Kenya shillings you should borrow in kenya shillings to avoid FX risk.”

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Marini Naturals Unveils New Logo

Marini Naturals, Kenya's first quality natural hairline care has unveiled a new logo.

Michelle Ntalami, who has had the vision to make Marini Naturals the leading hairline for all women in Africa says

"The new logo matches our renewed vision and core brand pillars ... Every story has an end, but every end has a new beginning! she announced on her Instagram feed.

On Thursday she finally made the announcement "To a new chapter, a new beginning and a brand new identity."

According to Ntalami, the new logo represents the natural African hair - oily, curly, kinky and beautiful 'nature and moisture' all-encompassing whether you are a man, child or woman, you feel included.

'This is a story of a noble idea that began out of love, 3 years ago. A story of ups, downs, challenges and triumphs. A story growth. A story of inclusiveness. A story of our unique, kinky, coily African hair. A story of nature and moisture. And above all, a story from Africa, with love!

It opened its first shop in Kenya in 2013.

Jambojet Touches Down in Entebbe For The First Time

Jambojet made its maiden flight to Uganda with the launch of a double daily flight between Nairobi and Entebbe.

Jambojet’s chief executive Willem Hondius says the expansion will spur the airline’s growth and foster regional integration at a national level.

“We are delighted to launch direct service to Entebbe, a much-anticipated addition to our network where we will offer frequent and new flyers even more affordable fares. This new route will connect businesses in Kenya and Uganda while also appealing to leisure travellers, offering them the opportunity to experience the ‘Pearl of Africa’.”

A subsidiary of Kenya Airways will take off with an introductory one-way fare of Ksh 11,751\Ush 418,000 – incl. Tax.

The airline will operate double daily flights with departures from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 09.10hrs and 17.30 hrs.

The flight will depart Entebbe International Airport for Nairobi at 11.00 hrs and 19.20 hrs daily.

The low-cost airline, fully owned by Kenya Airways increased their flight frequencies across all their routes countrywide attributed to increased demand and offer flexibility to their customers. It currently has  102 flights per week which is 29 more than the current 73 flights per week.