A $5 million agreement has been signed with the New York-based global capital advisory company Excelsior Firm, to set up the Centre for African Mid-Markets Expansion. The idea is to offer small businesses consultancy services. The Centre will be on Strathmore University’s main campus.
Excelsior managing director Javier Ewing feels that the entrepreneurial spirit in the country is quite impressive, but feels that there is still need for a bit of tweaking in terms of support for them to stay afloat, build top teams and attract financing.
Five firms from the information technology and renewable energy sectors would take part in the pilot program, before a formal roll-out in March, when the interested businesses can apply for admission.
SMEs have seen their fortunes turn as banks increased product offerings tailor-made for them. For years, SMEs were viewed as high risk business. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has partnered in developing the training curriculum. SBS is expected to boost their revenues and branch out from its core streams of income – the business leadership courses and MBA courses. Dr. Edward Mungai, the SBS Dean, said they will be offering entrepreneurs with premium services for which they will be expected to pay.
The curriculum would include training on methods of streamlining business operations to improve effectiveness, partnership formation and how capital advisory training to attract investors, among other things. Forty eight percent of the 110 entrepreneurs who have benefited from the Youth Enterprise Fund had less than 50 percent chance of succeeding past the incubation stage according to a survey done by the Kenya institute of Management (KIM).
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]There was a need for follow-up sessions and training with such firms in order to ascertain how the new businesses are doing.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Excelsior provides advisory services helping them improve their portfolios in capital brokerage, connecting investors with promising enterprises in the countries they operate in and also help them operate in other markets such as South Africa, London and New York.
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