•Yara Leadership Academy, an MBA-inspired module is expected to build future-fit competencies of 500 micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) business owners prioritizing youth and women-led businesses.
•The crop nutrition company has invested $1 million towards the programme which will offer innovative build-ins, such as peer networks and personalized mentoring services.
At least 500 stakeholders across agri-food value chains stand to benefit from a 12-week training programme by Yara Kenya.
Yara Leadership Academy, an MBA-inspired module is expected to build future-fit competencies of 500 micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) business owners prioritizing youth and women-led businesses.
The crop nutrition company has invested $1 million (Sh117.9 million ) towards the programme which will offer innovative build-ins, such as peer networks and personalized mentoring services.
The programme will also focus on training and capacity-building on a broad range of topics including digitization of operations, budgeting, working capital, inventory management and growth strategy.
This initiative is part of a broader Social Impact 2030 framework that Yara Kenya announced of Friday.
The framework has four main aims including strengthening food security and nutrition, catalyzing innovation to spur inclusive prosperity and enhancing local economic development by strengthening MSMEs in the agricultural sector.
Digital transition and transformation is also part of the Yara's key agenda.
"As the backbone of most economies, small businesses contribute to local development and job creation. Yara is very happy to be investing in the future of agri-entrepreneurs in Kenya and in other emerging market economies across Africa and Asia,” Subhashini Chandran, vice president for social impact, Africa and Asia at Yara said.
Approximately seven million MSMEs in Kenya generate more than 80 per cent of the country’s jobs, and they contribute at least 40 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Kenya is among the Big 4 countries in Africa attracting massive SME funding with Nigeria leading the way with Sh60 billion annually.
The country has been ranked high in terms of growing number of engaging international investors, huge population with access to technology, and a growing number of startup support organisations active in the ecosystem.
In 2021, the sector created 14.5 million jobs despite the global Covid-19, according to the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA).
At least 15.1 million jobs had been created in 2020.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), about 400,000 micro, small and medium enterprises have been dying within the first year of inception, in the last five years, raising concern over sustainability of this critical sector.
Latest report by the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) shows majority of small businesses are yet to benefit from state-backed bailouts and funding under the credit guarantee scheme.
In September 2020, the government established a Credit Guarantee Scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, as part of its interventions to cushion them from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, monies MSEA says has not benefited the targeted groups.
Prolonged business shutdowns, depressed demand, and value chain disruptions created considerable operational and financial pressures on SMEs, threatening the survival of many viable enterprises and entrepreneurs.