Kenya’s President, William Ruto has announced that the country’s Startup Bill 2022 is set to become law by May or April 2024.
The Startup Bill was initially introduced in the Senate in 2021. After receiving its first reading in February 2023, it is currently undergoing further discussions in the Senate.
Only three African countries have enacted a Startup Act—Tunisia, Congo and Nigeria. Tunisia’s Act was enacted in 2018, while Congo’s was enacted in September 2022, one month before Nigeria passed its own.
The Startup Bill will offer incentives for registered startups, like tax breaks and a dedicated platform for resources. There’s also a plan for a credit guarantee scheme to financially support and train startups for growth.
If enacted, the Startup Bill will establish a comprehensive legal framework designed to bolster technological growth, foster innovation, and attract both talent and capital.
The context of this legislation is crucial, given Kenya’s ongoing struggle to address unemployment among its youth population. Kenya’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector employs over 80% of Kenyan youth annually to help alleviate unemployment in the country. Despite their efforts, these SMEs struggle to be sustainable as nearly 75% of them shut down after a short period.