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Unlocking Business Growth Opportunities Post COVID-19

  Jul 24, 2020
 

Though the future may seem bleak for many businesses, with quite a number closing and downsizing their workforce, there are many growth opportunities beyond the pandemic. How businesses tap into these opportunities is what will set them apart and determine how they thrive and survive post-COVID.

SMEs are among the leading drivers of growth, innovation, and employment in most parts of Africa. They represent more than 80% of businesses in Kenya and employ up to 75% of the active working population.

In Africa, the SME sector constitutes most businesses and is an important driver of growth. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, market demand is down in many industries, and a good number of businesses have curtailed, if not closed. Many jobs have lost and the spillover effects into financial markets felt as many SMEs face continued challenges in managing cash flows and meeting financial commitments.

Speaking during the Enterprise Development Programme online open class, Eliud Wasike, Learning and Development Director at Life in Abundance International, highlighted five critical things that SMEs must embrace to unlock more growth opportunities in a post-COVID future.

  1. Come up with a new vision. Covid-19 has turned the tables and traditional methods of doing business will not work in the future. As a business, you need to adapt to the new normal by rethinking your competitive strategy.
  2. Product design and development. You need to modify your product/ services to fit the market needs of your customers. The pandemic plays a major role in changing consumer preferences; businesses need a new approach to doing things. Diversification and innovation will be key in the future of work; ensure your products and services are diversified and innovative to meet the customers’ needs.
  3. Cash flow management is essential for any business, and without proper cash flow management systems in place, a business cannot survive. This may be why a good number of SMEs are closing shop and laying off their employees in the face of COVID. Businesses must also understand the importance and value of having accurate financial records. This provides a guideline on how you spend money in your business; which issues are a priority? What issues can wait?
  4. Legal Environment for Business. The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed many businesses to a myriad of legal problems. Most of the legal issues have come from employees being laid off, businesses being unable to meet their financial obligations among others. Post pandemic, SMEs, and businesses alike will need to understand the legal business environment.
  5. Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The pandemic has proven to be a test business ethics and corporate social responsibility. More businesses are now actively taking part in CSR activities and this will be the future of businesses.

The COVID-19 is a game-changer for businesses and is likely to have a lasting effect on the business terrain. Apart from causing business disruption, COVID-19 has created growth opportunities that businesses can tap into and thrive during and after the pandemic.

 

Learn more about the Enterprise Development Programme here

 

 

 

About the Strathmore Enterprise Development Centre (SEDC)

The Strathmore Enterprise Development Centre is a private sector-driven initiative set up to address the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and provide solutions to the various practical, real-life problems they typically encounter.

Experience over the years has shown that entrepreneurs, in addition to training, require support services to help them implement their growth plans. SEDC’s primary objective is to help owner-managers of SMEs develop their competencies to effectively manage the growth of their ventures.

 

 

Article by Juliet Hinga

 

Would you like to share an article? Write to us at sbscommunication@strathmore.edu

 



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