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Kenya expands World Bank-backed grants to help SMEs


Kenya on Monday began extending 1.3 billion shillings (8.48 million U.S. dollars) of World Bank-supported grants to 150 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Juma Mukhwana, the principal secretary in the State Department for Industry, told journalists in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that the country received the funding as a loan from the World Bank but the government will provide the funding to SMEs as grants.

“The grants are intended to assist the beneficiary SMEs to improve their competitiveness as part of plans to transform Kenya’s industrial sector,” he said.

Mukhwana said most of the recipients of the grants are in the agro-processing, health and pharmaceutical sectors which have the biggest potential to expand and provide employment opportunities for Kenyans.

He noted that the funding has been earmarked to ensure Kenya’s small entrepreneurs adapt to new technologies that will enable them to become regionally competitive. He observed that the financial support will also be used by the SMEs for business development, as well as for the acquisition of managerial and technical skills.

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