Kenyan SMEs Optimistic, Confident about Business Growth – Mastercard

Editorial Desk
By Editorial Desk 3 Min Read

Mastercard’s Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EEMEA) SME Confidence Index has revealed that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya are optimistic and confident about the next 12 months.

The survey, conducted through telephone or face-to-face interviews, covered 11 countries across the MENA, Africa, and Eastern Europe regions.

According to the survey, 66% of SMEs in Kenya are confident about business growth, with 97% believing that omnichannel payments present the biggest opportunity for them.

Digitizing their business (96%) and access to training and development support (95%) were also seen as significant growth opportunities. Other factors contributing to business growth included training and upskilling staff (94%), easier access to financial services and credit funding (93%), better data analytics and insights (91%), and international transactions (83%).

However, as companies recover from the pandemic, 73% of Kenyan SMEs expressed concerns about rising costs of doing business in 2023, and 44% were worried about access to capital funding.

Shehryar Ali, Senior Vice President and Country Manager for East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands at Mastercard, expressed optimism about the survey results, emphasizing the transformative potential of digital payments for Kenyan SMEs.

Ali highlighted the role of SMEs in propelling Kenya’s economy and Mastercard’s dedication to empowering them through digital integration and skills development.

The survey also revealed that medium-sized businesses (87%) were more optimistic about the next 12 months compared to micro and small businesses (66%).

SMEs in Kenya contribute to over 90% of the total labor force and play a crucial role in poverty reduction and economic development, according to the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis.

Key factors impacting business growth in Kenya, as identified by SMEs, included rising costs of goods and services (65%), lingering effects of the pandemic (61%), and inflation (52%). Concerns about paying back loans from banks and governments, access to capital funding, and red tape regulations were also cited as challenges.

Mastercard aims to support SMEs by leveraging its network, technology, and global partnerships to help them adapt to changing commercial environments and new spending patterns.

The company collaborates with governments and the private sector to promote financial inclusion and encourage consumers and merchants to support small businesses.

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