The president-elect of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Richard Ngatia has called on credit reference bureaus (CRBs) to set a default limit over which an individual can be listed.
Mr Ngatia said that KNCCI, which seeks to protect commercial and industrial interests of the Kenyan business community, is in talks with the CRBs to come up with a certain limit which if surpassed, then an individual can be listed for default.
“We are finding ways to discuss with CRB to have a limit on listing of people with the agencies where an amount can be set as the limit which if surpassed then one can be listed,” said Mr Ngatia.
He was speaking during the inaugural Bizna Annual Small and Medium-size Enterprises Awards gala 2019 held at the Laico Regency over the weekend.
At the same time, Mr Ngatia said that KNCCI has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kenya Bankers Association aimed at introducing alternative security to financial institutions before advancing credit.
“Join us for ease in doing this as we want to see whether banks can work closely with us where, instead of asking for collateral, they use the “know your customer” model where we will give them details of customers,” he said.
He said that things will only get better for SMEs in the country as there is already a Bill which has been passed in Parliament, and now waiting for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s assent, which will see payments effected on time, which is 90 days after delivery of items.
Mr Ngatia hailed the step taken by Tonnie Mello, the founder and chief executive officer of Bizna – a business enterprise development portal that supports access to better goods and services by marketing and promoting businesses – to organise an award ceremony for SMEs as a step in the right direction.
The awards, which were divided into nine categories, are meant to showcase, recognise and celebrate small businesses in Kenya.
During the awards, travel and tour company Expedition Maasai Safaris was crowned the overall winner, walking away with the SME of the year trophy.
The firm also won in the tourism and hospitality category, beating close competitors Africa Outdoors and Exquisite Events By You.
“These trophies are a great sign of the satisfaction that we give our customers by fulfilling their needs in the tourism and hospitality industry,” said Mr Pancras Karema, the CEO of Expedition Maasai Safaris.
Other winners of the night included Twinkle Pharmacy Ltd which won in the professional service category as well as emerging runners-up in the SME of the Year category.
IRRI-Hub Ke walked away with the award for the agribusiness of the year, Sokobrand emerged the best in the creative economy catergory while the manufacturing industry award went to Nyagah Mechanical Engineering Limited.
Modest Collections won in the transport and logistics category, Username Investment scooped the real estate firm of the year award while Sasahost Limited walked away with the most promising SME of the year award.
“This award ceremony was born out of a dream I have which is to grow and develop these enterprises as about 80 percent of businesses collapse within the first five years of establishment,” said Mr Mello.