Everyone says that SMEs are the engines and driving force of Kenya’s development and economy, but few understand what it means to build and sustain SMEs. What it means to navigate technical, legal, and financial challenges to stay afloat.
These were the sentiments of the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Climate Innovation Centre, Mr. Joseph Murabula, at the close of a two-day GreenBiz Bootcamp mentorship program that came to a close on Wednesday 24 May 2023.
His statement aptly captures the essence of the bootcamp, which aimed to empower entrepreneurs and foster sustainable growth in Kenya’s green business sector through the GreenBiz program, a five-year program implemented by KCIC and supported by DANIDA. The 24 clients who took part in the bootcamp were provided with comprehensive business technical assistance and mentorship support to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the ever-evolving green business landscape. The climate entrepreneurs received guidance on various aspects of business development, including market research, financial management, carbon measurement and trading, legal compliance, and effective marketing strategies.
The bootcamp also featured trainers from government institutions such as the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). These trainers shared their expertise and insights to further enrich the participants’ learning experience and compliance to various legal provisions.
NEMA emphasized the importance of environmental regulations and sustainable practices, encouraging entrepreneurs to align their businesses with green principles to gain a competitive edge. The KRA shed light on tax incentives and benefits available to climate-focused enterprises, highlighting the government’s commitment to supporting their growth and success. KEBS on the other hand emphasized the significance of quality assurance and certification to enhance product credibility, enabling entrepreneurs to tap into local and international markets.
The bootcamp also provided ample opportunities for collaboration and networking among the GreenBiz clients, with participants connecting with like-minded individuals and organisations, fostering an environment of shared learning and collaboration within the green business ecosystem.
The mentorship and technical assistance received will empower climate entrepreneurs to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities in the green business sector. With their newfound knowledge and strengthened networks, these entrepreneurs are poised to make a significant contribution to the country’s climate resilience, job creation, and economic growth. The mentorship bootcamp was actualised through the support and partnership of the SME Support Centre.