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ASSEK Urges Entrepreneur Support Decentralization to County Headquarters

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The Association of Startups and SMEs Enablers of Kenya (ASSEK) advocates for the decentralization of entrepreneur support services to county headquarters.

This move aims to provide local businesses with easier access to entrepreneurship and innovation expertise.

ASSEK suggests upgrading county innovation centers into innovation anchors to accelerate support for local startups.

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Presented at the one-day Policy Roundtable titled ‘Building An Enabling Environment For Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Actors,’ the Ecosystem Entrepreneurship Report emphasizes the importance of supporting startups and SMEs outside Nairobi.

This initiative aims to alleviate challenges such as limited digital services, funding accessibility issues, and inadequate access to clientele and pricing trade-offs by enhancing their presence in physical locations.

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During the event attended by 120 founder-chief executives of entrepreneur support organizations, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ASSEK, Ms Mercy Kimalat emphasized the significance of formalized entrepreneurship support systems in propelling Kenya towards its next growth phase.

Kenya’s robust innovation ecosystem attracted significant investment funding volume of Sh107.6 million ($800,000) last year, positioning it as Africa’s third-ranked innovation hub, with energy and environment sectors leading in performance.

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“Kenya’s innovation scene, which is ranked third in Africa with energy and environment sectors being the best performing industries, has room for further growth that will enable more startups to scale up creating new products while opening up more job opportunities. We need to come up with programmes that improve access to affordable capital, digitisation, access to best fit talent as well as tradeoff of price and access to clientele, enablers and services,” Ms Kimalat said.

The roundtable discussions also shed light on ongoing projects funded by the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project, a joint venture between the government and the World Bank.

Participants agreed to foster collaborative efforts involving ASSEK, key government agencies, and Enterprise Support Organizations (ESOs) to bolster Kenya’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Notable startups contributing to Kenya’s innovation landscape include M-Kopa (Energy), Cellulant (Fintech), Wasoko (E-Commerce), Sistema.bio (Energy), Twiga (E-Commerce), Copia (E-Commerce), Cytonn (Fintech), Apollo (Agtech), LipaLater (Fintech), Big Square (Foodtech), and Poa Internet (Software).

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Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech. Write to me @[email protected]

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