SME Speak

June Gathoni, Director, Maple SME Resource Centre

June Gathoni is currently the director of Maple Small Medium Size Enterprise Resource Centre. When Ms.June Gathoni and Ms.Monica Wangui decided to invest their savings to help empower entrepreneurs, many thought that theirs was a doomed venture. They invested the Sh.8 million, that they had saved and secured through sponsorship, to start up Maple Small Medium Size Enterprise Resource Center. The centre has not only become a promising business but has also helped thousands of entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

The centre in Wanadege, Hurligham in Nairobi, advises entrepreneurs on business opportunities and also engages in consultancy work for SMEs and start-ups. Some of the services they offer their clients are business plan writing, systems management, marketing campaigns both locally and internationally, brand management, public relations and consultancy, all for a fee.

The center is for start-ups, SMEs and other companies that are looking for information, help and empowerment in entrepreneurship and it aims to equip SMEs with financial and business management skills. Their main objective is to support SMEs’ at every step of their way as they implement systems and good business practices that govern enterprises from small businesses to future corporations.

Small to medium business owners and start-ups can also borrow funds at competitive terms to enable them to grow and expand their businesses. Before starting the centre, Ms.Gathoni was into Information Technology and M-Pesa business for more than seven years and she felt the heat of being denied quick.

The centre holds annual small and medium enterprise fair and conference, training seminars, workshops and forums that bring together financiers, companies with business opportunities and consultants for SMEs. Businesses and individuals seeking to join the resource centre and enjoy training from business experts in various sectors are required to pay Sh.1,500 as an annual fee.

They have more than 1,000 members from Nairobi, Eastern, Central, Nyanza, Rift Valley, and Coast provinces where they hold conferences during different times each month, and more are still coming on board. In most economies, SMEs comprise about 99 per cent of all firms and employ between them, about 60 per cent of the workforce, hence the need to empower them.

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