SMEs in Kenya employ up to 80 percent of the population and account for 92 percent of all new jobs that are created and contribute up to 45 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
In a move to make business for them easier and more convenient, KCB Group and Safaricom launched a one-stop-solution platform dubbed [email protected] Smart, to give SME’s unsecured loans and get them on online with ease. The deal will see SMEs pay as little as KES 500 to get a website, email addresses and a quick loan to grow their businesses.
Safaricom will give the SMEs will be offered Zidisha Biashara, Biashara Smart Classifieds, Biashara Tips and OneConnect Express which complement the existing offerings such as Cloud Software as a Service (Cloud SaaS) which offers human resources, accounting and payroll applications online to SME’s, saving them the cost of buying the software, as well as domain hosting and professional email services.
On the other hand, KCB Group wil give the SME’s flexible financial products and services among them advisory services, KCB SME Banking, competitively-priced KCB SME Loans, insurance, online banking registration, pre-paid cards and credit cards which will help unlock the potential of the entrepreneurs in the rural and urban areas to scale up and grow.
“[email protected] Smart is the Safaricom Business and KCB Group’s brand promise which seeks to identify with, empower, connect and grow SMEs in Kenya, through partnerships, befitting propositions and empowerment,” said Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Collymore, during the launch.
He added, “Today’s launch marks the beginning of a journey in which we are also going to facilitate capacity building initiatives, preferential propositions and loyalty programmes that will radically transform how SME’s do business. We will soon launch Biashara Tips and Biashara Club, which will open up networking and new business opportunities for SME’s”.
According to the KCB Group CEO, Mr. Joshua Oigara, ‘ [email protected] Smart is a game-changer for the market given that the SME sector employs 7.5 million people and accounts for 80% of the employment market while contributing over 92% of the new jobs created annually according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. We recognize that SMEs are the engine of the Kenyan economy. [email protected] is a business proposition that helps businesses run efficiently and professionally while offering them tools and financial access that will help them achieve their business goals”.
This is not KCB’s and Safaricom’s first similar agreement. The two firms previously unveilled KCB M-Benki, a mobile banking platform for KCB account holders. The two also facilitated a KSh1.5 billion unsecured loan facility to finance operations of M-PESA agents.
This launch in some way eats into Kopo Kopo’s Grow with Us loan facility for SMEs.
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