It was evident at this year’s top 100 mid sized companies award ceremony that for yet another year, Kenyan small and medium enterprises in Kenya have shown resilience, overcome start-up problems and emerged victorious in a sea of economic turbulence.
The economic future of this nation rests squarely on the laurels of these men and women who have overcome great odds to emerge as business leaders in their own way.
Their entrepreneurial spirit, their determination and focus will continue to inspire other people to enter into business. And that is why each year their stories must be told. They motivate others to go the extra mile – take the risks and stop playing safe. But to achieve this, we need an environment where these entrepreneurs can find capital to grow business.
It is quite apparent that the struggles they face read like pages of the same script.
They face commercial banks that cannot give them loans because they are start-ups and risky and are forced to postpone their dreams.
Take this year’s winner for example, Thika-based Jungle Mac’s. Its founder, Patrick Wainana, was forced into employment to get money to boost his business and his story echoes that of many entrepreneurs who face the same problems.
And that is why this country should continue to encourage venture capitalists to operate so as to give support to people who have faith in the Kenyan economy, especially the mid sized companies in Kenya.
For Kenya to be able to tap into the boom in South Sudan and the expected oil boom in Uganda, it must grow its mid size companies. Only in that way will it be able to offer goods and services and there is a huge potential here waiting to be tapped. But are we up to the task? To do that, we should continue to encourage these men and women to become our islands of hope.
To achieve that, Kenya’s taxation regime, bureaucracy, and infrastructure development must be business-friendly and predictable.
No business person wants to invest in an uncertain economy where political mischief ranks higher than business acumen.
We hope that the business community in this country will continue to demand better services as a right and take advantage of the huge East African market of about 130 million people.
As our medium sized firms have shown, there is potential for growth in this country and the future is here with us. The Top 100 firms make Kenya proud.