Tangaza College which is a constituent college of the Catholic University of East Africa is aiding incubation research and capacity building services through its MBA programme on social entrepreneurship.
The partnership will also help to set up connexions between Italian and Kenyan companies and assist in the exchange of best practices between the two countries.
Cyril Nabutola, the chief executive officer of EPZA, said that a Kenyan SME might not be the same as an Italian one, because what could be considered as an SME in Italy could be a full-fledged business in Kenya. They wanted to change the SMEs, from what they are today to what they should actually be, through capacity building.
The MBA programme in Social Entrepreneurship is planned at helping participants develop competencies and skills necessary for the development of business plans, commercial and international relationships and business management.
It also bonds entrepreneurs to a network of facilitators, partners, and seasoned investors with an inclination towards social ventures.
EPZA has expressed that its involvement in the project is informed by the recognition that small-and-medium-sized companies find it tough to contend in a world of rapidly changing technologies and globalisation.
Mr Nabutola said that incapacity to confront these challenges and rigid competition in the rugged environment of global business has forced some exporters to go back to planning.
Mathenge Wanderi, chairman of the Export Processing Zone Authority, said that their enterprises were facing a lot of challenges in the area of innovation, standards, and information-sharing.
Citing an example, he said that while Kenyans had the opportunity to export more than 6,000 items through Agoa to the United States, only about 20 items were sold as the SMEs in Kenya were not equipped to meet the standards required to export to the US.
EPZA, which promotes export-oriented enterprises has an incubation system where SMEs are nurtured through a four-year programme into full-fledged export companies. They are provided with assistance for research, financing, and capacity building.
The collaboration also intends creating sustainable enterprises through the establishment of incubators in the counties.
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