No one prepares you for the hurdles and the stress involved in registering a business, the regulatory processes involved, the litigations, and consequently a short life span of 3 to 5 years for many businesses if they are on the lucky side or even 6 months which is common.
Many may ask why this is the case, but the state of informality has driven 70 per cent of the 7.5 million SME’s shutting down according to the Kenya National Bureau of Standards Report (KNBS) 2016. Luckily, this situation has been transformed with the newly introduced Kenyan toolkit that was launched by the Ministry of East African Community and Regional Development with support from the UK Kenya Tech Hub and Viffa Consult on the 19th of March 2021.
In a bid to introduce the toolkit to the ecosystem stakeholders we held an event on the 14th of April 2021. Victor Agolla the Managing Director of Viffa Consult Limited, a key partner behind the development of the tool facilitated the session with Mercy Kimalat, our Engagement Advisor moderating the session.
Victor Agolla began the discussion by explaining what really went into the formation of the toolkit. The toolkit was founded on earlier reforms initiated by the Government through the Ministry of EAC and Regional Development. It, therefore, targets SMEs and entrepreneurs who are the end-users by ensuring the ease of accessing regulatory information while helping SMEs engage with and understand the regulatory framework in a way that was easily accessible. In the past, such information was not readily available and sometimes businesses had to visit 6 or 7 websites to accrue such information.
He also mentioned that the toolkit has an inbuilt feedback mechanism on the website to address your concerns as a business owner at the click of a button.
The development of the toolkit was done in a procedural way with many steps being inculcated as seen below:
- Desktop aggregation of all the government ministries together with the regulators linked to the Mother ministry. These were aggregated based on the different stages of SMEs which included the planning, launching and scaling.
- There was then a validation process with different stakeholders in the manufacturing sector, financial institutions and educational institutions.
- Development of toolkit portal support and content. With the development of such a tool kit, it was necessary to ensure that the content could be easily digested by the end-users, thus this was provided for users being able to download the content for referencing offline. They also included explanatory videos arranged per stage and linked these to social media handles for ease of use and helping with the dissemination of the information. Also, the information provided was linked to the E- citizen website and other sectors that SMEs would want to be engaged in.https://www.kenyabusinessregulatoryguide.com/
So with this in mind, how does the tool kit look? Well, it encapsulates the lifecycles of SMEs with the different phases thus showing the following :
- Plan Your Business
- Launch Your Business
- Manage Your Business
- Grow Your Business
Another great benefit of the toolkit is that it is a guide for aspiring entrepreneurs and current entrepreneurs who are just starting their ventures, with it explaining the basics of registration and it even points you in the right direction of naming your business. I.e.Private Limited Company, Unlimited Company while giving you the cost of registering your business which has been scaled down into an affordable price of Kenya Shillings Ten Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty. What’s also interesting about this guide is that it provides you with relevant support at each stage of your entrepreneurial journey:
It has included the following sectors :
- Import and Export
This toolkit honestly has eased the process of business registration through the multiple regulatory bodies it links one to as well as providing a business application form, a slot to upload your certificate of Incorporation and registration, a slot to upload your company pin, it’s a very digitized process that aims at refining the way businesses is done while encouraging entrepreneurs to formalize their businesses in an easier manner. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you can view it here https://www.kenyabusinessregulatoryguide.com/