October 2, 2023

USAID – Kenya Delegation Explores Technology Integration in the Kenya Small Business Development Centers (Kenya SBDC) Program

Juliet Hinga

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 USAID – Kenya Delegation  Explores Technology Integration in the Kenya Small Business Development Centers (Kenya SBDC) Program

We were honored to host a distinguished delegation from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), led by Mr. Clinton D. White, the USAID Counselor. The purpose of their visit was to gain insights into the research and innovation initiatives that are making a meaningful impact on people’s lives. The discussions primarily revolved around the integration of technology into the USAID’s Kenya Small Business Development Centers (Kenya SBDC) Program.

The Kenya SBDC Program has taken deliberate steps to incorporate technology into its mission to empower Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). One notable technology discussed during the visit is Neo Serra, a Customer Relationship Management platform. Neo Serra plays a pivotal role in managing client listings, maintaining databases, and monitoring performance within the program.

Through a combination of advisory services and training, the Kenya SBDC Program has successfully empowered MSMEs to scale up their operations and achieve significant economic impact. Beth, a woman-owned business in the sanitary pads sector and a beneficiary of the Kiambu SBDC, shared her experience. She remarked, “Ever since I became part of the Kenya SBDC program, my business has embraced technology and steadily built a reputation that has attracted more clients and partners.”

The collaboration between USAID and the Kenya SBDC Program underscores the importance of innovative approaches in fostering the growth and success of small businesses in Kenya. By leveraging technology and providing valuable support to MSMEs, this partnership is contributing to economic empowerment and sustainability within the country.

The Kenya Small Business Development Centers (Kenya SBDC) is a USAID program being implemented by Strathmore University Business School with a mandate to  champion both public and private-sector-led development to enable SMEs participate fully in the economy and  create jobs.

The project takes the best practices in business development and advisory services from the U.S. Small Business Development Center (SBDC) model and transfers them to a local network of county-based business centers. This local network of centers adapts and implements the SBDC’s accredited training curriculum and proven methodology for supporting small businesses. The project also builds linkages between Kenyan and American MSMEs to transfer best practices and proven models from the U.S. SBDCs to Kenya’s county-based business centers.

Learn more about the Kenya Small Business Development Centers here

Article by Juliet Hinga

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