Small and medium-sized businesses are the most affected businesses in the world by the covid-19 pandemic. Thus, it’s no different for Kenya. The country’s inter-county travel restrictions and curfews situations have brought massive Social and economic disruptions hurting the economy of the small, medium, and micro-businesses of the country.
Cybercafes, selling snacks, Cake making, Garbage collection, Butchery, Photography, Carwash, Wines, Bakery, Salon, Poultry, Aquaculture, Beaded Sandals and Handbags are some of the businesses that have affected significantly by the crisis in Kenya.
According to a survey conducted by the Central Bank of Kenya in April 2020, about 75% of SMEs were at risk of collapse due to limited emergency reserves.
However, some entrepreneurs have successfully responded to the challenge by strategically switching their existing services and products to suit the immediate demands of customers. More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of digital technology, such as free online POS software, in aiding with business during Covid. Thus, the rising digital transition is a massive recent trend among Kenyan SMEs.
Even if this is a challenging time for the SME business owners in the country, the silver lining is that the sector has the potential to rise back up as the Covid restrictions are relaxed and the economy gradually reopens. The government has recognized the untapped potential of the sector and have taken steps to support the growth of SMEs, one which is the acknowledgement of the need to support the informal sector to raise productivity and distribution, jobs, owners’ incomes and public revenues in Vision 2030. The vision aims to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing, middle-income country providing a high quality life to all its citizens through three pillars: economic, social and political.
Thus, the time has come for SME owners to stand strong than ever in the vision they’ve believed in, being creative with their business and navigate the crisis, adapting smartly and effectively to the new world after covid.