Access to finance has been one of the major challenges facing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya. Research shows that lack of access to finance is the reason behind stagnation of many SMEs and high mortality rate. While big companies easily access credit from commercial banks and other financial institutions, SMEs are entirely disadvantaged because they are perceived as high risk.
It has for years been forgotten and neglected. Indeed, consecutive governments have done little or nothing to exploit its potentials. Being at the bottom of the economic pyramid, the micro and small enterprises (MSEs) sector in Kenya has since independence been left to operate amorphously despite its enormous potential to steer economic growth. While policy makers agree the sector is undoubtedly a sleeping giant, efforts to reawaken it have been few and far apart. “The government should have realized long ago that MSEs need to be held by hand to grow,” says Patrick Mwangi, MSE Authority Acting Chief Executive Officer.
Leadership is a key element in business as in all aspects of our life. Often, a leader is confused with a manager. True, a successful leader must have some traits of a manager and a successful manager must have some elements of a leader. However, the two are different. The main difference is that the leader is engaged more in dreaming and influencing others towards achieving the dream. And the word ‘influencing’ here has nothing to do with force.
Having turned Fifty, it makes sense to visualise the Kenyan journey over the next half a century. Indeed, it is visions that guide progress. And without them, people may have little to inspire them as they match into the future. They could end up living for the day or just whiling away time, especially in the absence of expectations. With visions, however, people are kept dreaming and longing for promises of the future. The situation is even better when they have personally been involved in crafting that future.