HF Group’s banking subsidiary HFC and Strathmore University Business School have announced a strategic partnership to collaborate on empowerment programs for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the sectors of manufacturing, real estate, healthcare, education, and agriculture value-chain.
The partnership will see SMEs within the players’ ecosystem benefit from training, capacity building, and tailor-made financing solutions geared toward business growth.
“SMEs are at the heart of Kenya’s social, economic, and industrial development. With this partnership, the Bank and Strathmore will leverage each other’s expertise to create a supportive ecosystem specifically designed to propel SMEs to the next frontier of growth and economic contribution,” HF Group CEO Robert Kibaara said.
The collaboration aims to leverage the respective strengths and areas of expertise of both partners to deliver relevant insights through training on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, e-commerce, business mentorship, and coaching.
“SMEs constitute 98 percent of all businesses in Kenya, responsible for 30 percent of jobs created annually and three percent of the GDP. This sector is critical to the country’s economic vitality and we firmly believe that supporting this sector will expand trade and employment opportunities,” noted Dr. Caesar Mwangi, Executive Dean, Strathmore University Business School.
A 2018 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics report shows approximately 400,000 micro small and medium enterprises do not celebrate their second birthday and very few SMEs reach their fifth birthday. More than half (46%) of Kenya’s SMEs, reportedly, close within a year of founding.
“With this partnership, we want to be at the forefront of turning the tides for SMEs towards sustainability,” Kibaara added.