The World Bank has set aside a $50 million International Development Association credit facility to increase scale innovation and productivity amongst Kenya’s enterprises.
The Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship project will benefit some 33,050 individuals and 2,393 firms.
Also, the facility is likely to back Kenya’s Big Four development agenda and Vision 2030 that entail significant growth in private sector jobs and overall productivity.
Quoting the World Bank Country Director for Kenya, Diarietou Gaye:
“We are committed to supporting Kenya in creating employment and business opportunities as part of the county’s wider strategy to fast-track economic growth”.
“While Kenya remains a top innovation leader in Africa, it still ranks 80th out of 127 countries in the 2017 Global Innovation Index and we are partnering with Kenya as it works to improve its human capital, technology, and knowledge outputs.”
Although Kenya lacks the adequate skills that can produce a solid pool of internationally competitive, however technology-enabled businesses and SMEs, are key drivers of the economy.
The Kenyan Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Cooperatives noted that technology and innovation as the cornerstone for national industry development and the role that private sector firms play in driving its industrialization through the Kenya Industrial Transformation Program.
Through strengthening technology accelerators and incubators, the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project will directly benefit 640 students, 15 corporates, 250 SMEs, 162 startups, 7 technology boot camp providers and 30 technology hubs.
The facility will also help Kenyan SMEs connect to networks of international mentors, angel investors, and venture capitalists to help local startups and SMEs to grow and compete internationally.