The Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP), an initiative under the Ministry of Investments and Trade’s State Department for Industry, is implementing a $50 million (Sh7.7 billion) grant program to propel high-growth potential businesses in Kenya. This significant boost will enhance the operations of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Specifically, it has already identified 23 successful SMEs to whom it plans to provide performance-based grant funding, each averaging at $50,000.

KIEP 250+, a crucial player in fostering SME growth in Kenya since its November 2020 launch, comprehensively diagnosed the first cohort of SMEs to identify gaps and improvement areas. The designed grants mark a strategic shift towards reinforcing innovation, adopting technology, enhancing productivity, and international competitiveness, aiming to improve the overall landscape for SMEs.

At the grant contract signing ceremony, Secretary Juma Mukhwana, the Industry Principal, voiced an unwavering commitment from the government to bolster SME growth. This initiative aligns directly with their Vision 2030 and Medium-Term plans. He underscored a crucial point: emphasizing prioritization of SMEs in key sectors is paramount. These vital areas include manufacturing, agriculture, housing & settlement development projects; healthcare services are not forgotten—neither is the construction of the digital superhighway or fostering growth within our creative economy sector.

KIEP 250+ distinctly emphasizes gender inclusivity, mandated to support a minimum of 24% women-led enterprises. This focus on empowering women entrepreneurs manifests itself in the composition of Cohort 1 recipients—a reflection of their commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

The project, with its focus set on supporting over 250 SMEs across the nation, surpasses simple financial aid; it offers crucial technical support. This assistance not only catalyzes business enhancement and expansion but also fuels private sector growth, generates employment opportunities, promotes export amplification, and augments competitiveness as well as productivity.

KIEP 250+ progresses its initiative and, in line with this forward momentum, initiates a new call for applications; eligible businesses are encouraged to apply—to seize the transformative opportunities it presents. This ongoing commitment from KIEP serves as an emphatic reaffirmation of the government’s dedication; indeed, it underscores their unwavering support towards propelling companies on their journey towards growth, innovation, and heightened competitiveness.