2 January 2013

Kenya: SME Authority to Be Set Up

OPERATIONS of micro and small and enterprises will soon be coordinated by an independent authority after President Kibaki signed into law a bill allowing the creation of such an agency.

The Micro and Small Enterprises Bill, 2012 provides for the establishment of the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority. The authority will be responsible for formulating and reviewing policies and programmes for micro and small enterprises as well as monitoring and evaluating the implementation of existing policies and programmes related to, or affecting, micro and small enterprises and advise the Government on appropriate policies and course of action to be taken.

The Act stipulates that the authority, whose chairperson will be appointed by the President, will coordinate, harmonize and facilitate the integration of various public and private sector activities, programmes and development plans relating to micro and small enterprises. In addition, the agency promote and facilitate research, product development and patenting in the micro and small enterprises sector. It will also be expected to promote the mainstreaming of youth, gender and persons with disabilities in all micro and small enterprises activities and programs.

The authority will also be charged with the responsibility of mobilizing resources for the development of micro and small enterprise sector.

The Act defines a small enterprise as a firm, trade, service, industry or a business activity whose annual turnover ranges between Sh500 and Sh5 million shillings and which employs between ten and fifty people.

The Act also provides for the establishment of an office of the Registrar of Micro and Small Enterprises which shall be an office in the public service. The Registrar shall be responsible for the registration of micro and small enterprises in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

The Authority shall consist of a non-executive chairperson, who shall be a person with knowledge, and at least ten years experience, in business and entrepreneurship development or a related field, appointed by the President, the Principal Secretary of the Ministry for the time being responsible for matters relating to micro and small enterprises development or his or her representative appointed in writing. It will also consist of seven persons nominated as follows and appointed by the Cabinet Secretary and four persons nominated by the umbrella organization from the following national sectoral associations.

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