The Empretec Programme that promotes entrepreneurship by building capacity for small businesses around the globe has been launched in Kenya.
The global entrepreneurship training programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which was launched in 1988 is implemented through National Centres in over 39 countries and has trained more than 420, 000 entrepreneurs to date.
Coordinated from Geneva, Switzerland, by UCTAD’s Enterprise Branch of the Division of Investment and Enterprise, the programme focuses on developing countries and economies and transitions. It also promotes entrepreneurship and enhancing productive capacity and seeks to boost the international competitiveness of MSMEs.
“We thank UNCTAD for the opportunity and support to establish an Empretec Centre in Kenya. The centre will go a long way in developing and promoting Entrepreneurship in the Country. We foresee graduation of many MSMEs from informal to formal enterprises. This will be good for the country,” Kenya’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Adan Mohamed said.
The launch follows a six-day Empretec entrepreneurship workshop led by UNCTAD’s international master trainers in cooperation with local counterparts.
It was witnessed by the Founder and Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma who is the UNCTAD Special Adviser for young entrepreneurs and small business and a UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are key engines of economic growth, making a significant contribution through outputs, employment, job creation and innovation.
According to the 2016 National MSME Survey, these enterprises contribute 33.8 per cent of GDP and 81.1 per cent of employment opportunities in Kenya.
With 98 per cent of businesses in Kenya estimated to be in the informal sector, most run by young people aged between 18 and 35 and women, the country will benefit from the integration and skills development of its large, yet unproductive, informal sector.
The Programme is aligned with Kenya’s Vision 2030 strategy, adopted in 2007, that acknowledges the need to support the informal sector to raise productivity and distribution, jobs, owners’ incomes and public revenues.
UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi noted the central role Empretec can play in inspiring entrepreneurship and developing the right skills to start and grow MSMEs thus stimulating economic growth “through job creation, helping formalize businesses, creating opportunities for and thereby empowering disadvantaged groups such as youth and women and strengthening local productive capacity”.
Kenya becomes the 40th country to join the Empretec network.
UNCTAD will organize a four-day training-of-trainers workshop from 22 to 25 July 2017 where participants from Kenya and other countries in the region will be taken through an advanced learning session, required for them to be certified as national Empretec trainers.
The event will be hosted by the Kenya Institute of Business Training of Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives.