Trade: New MSME fund to be in place by June

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The Ministry of Trade and Industrialization in conjunction with the National Treasury are finalizing a framework to allow the establishment of a Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Fund (MSME) by June this year, Industrialization Principal Secretary Dr Francis Owino has said.

Owino says the fund will be accessible to traders operating in Biashara Centers to be set up across the country under new trade policy which awaits cabinet approval.

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Kenya has not had a chance to review and reform policies governing the ministry of trade and industrialization for over 14 years.

The ministry is now focused on addressing the loopholes in their framework to better govern the industry as high cost of production, lack of diversification of products and limited access to funds have been cited as the biggest setbacks in the sector.

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The new reforms are backed to ensure all Juakali traders in the country specialize in mass production and manufacturing of goods that will be subject to a set of standards highlighted in the new policy framework in order to become suppliers of affordable housing programme.

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The sector currently accounts for more than 80% of all businesses in Kenya, creating around 75% of the jobs in Kenya.

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The government is planning on introducing a new MSME fund by June this year to resolve issues of access to funds.

Dr Owino expects to have a session with County Executive Committee Members and the parliamentary committee to present and further discuss prospects of the new policy before getting the cabinet node.

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