What Makes An SME Owner: Barclays Bank Kenya Mentors Hundreds in Mombasa

By Soko Directory Team / Published December 18, 2018 | 10:50 am



SMEs

Barclays Bank Kenya landed in Mombasa on Thursday in an ongoing mentorship and SME conversation program at Sarova Whitesands Hotel where hundreds of entrepreneurs and SMEs in Mombasa turned up to partake of the knowledge from the experts.

Mombasa, being one of the three capital cities in the country and a preferred tourist destination, presents immense opportunities in terms of business and investment opportunities. Despite the fact that many people think the city runs due to the tourism sector, it literally runs on the wheels of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

“But we have so many challenges. Many businesses are collapsing and many young people are becoming desperate by the day. I came here because I want to learn how to better my business which currently has an annual turnover of 3 million shillings. I want to know if I can double that,” said Elvis Mvoi, one of the young entrepreneurs who had turned up.

READ: Barclays Bank Kenya Promises To Continue Funding SMEs

Those in attendance got an opportunity to interact with professional panelists who have made a mark in the world of SME with some being business coaches who help small entrepreneurs grow through programs, guidance and consulting.

Among the panelists was Fridah Owinga, CEO and Founder of Passion Profits, an organization that has partnered with Barclays Bank Kenya to help businesses realize their potential for growth through interactive programs.

“You need to understand your business if you want to make it. You need a plan. In fact, some business owners are not sure of what they should be making in a month. That is the beginning of failure,” said Fridah.

She said that many small businesses fail because the owners either under capitalize their businesses, lack adequate knowledge about the business or they employ people without the following merit.

READ: Hundreds of Entrepreneurs Attend The Barclays SME In Conversation Tour in Eldoret

According to Susan Situma, the Head of SME at Barclays Bank, the lender has never stopped lending a helping hand to SMEs across Kenya. In fact, she said that it is the SMEs themselves who are not approaching the bank and said that the lender is always ready to welcome them and help them out.

“Forget about the notion that since the implementation of the interest capping law, banks stopped giving loans to SMEs, at Barclays, we have never stopped,” she said.

SMEs and entrepreneurs were also enlightened on the importance of having a plan. “A business plan is so crucial,” said David Tanki, the head of a company called Lynex and who was part of the panel.

“A business plan makes you know where you were, where you are and where you are heading to,” he added.

During the interaction, it also emerged that most SMEs fail to secure funding from financial institutions because most of them do not keep records including having sound bank statements. Bank statements are vital in determining whether a bank will give a loan to a business. The statements, basically, tell the bank about the character of the person seeking to secure a loan.

The Business Program Audit

Participants were also introduced to a business program audit that the majority never knew was crucial for any business to function properly.

For a business to function properly, it needs to be guided by 4 pillars; identity, strategy, system and structures, and the people.

The benefits if a business audit program is immense to a business. For instance, the program helps the business owner create a measure to ensure that the drivers of business success are implemented.

It also gives a business annual appraisal reports that will give the owner of the business the data that will allow him/her to make more informed decisions for the business. The new program by Barclays also gives the business a network of peer and a chance for annual recognition at the Barclays Company of the Year Award.

Barclays Should Come Back

Most of those who attended want Barclays Bank Kenya to arrange for a similar interactive session later in the New Year so that they can be enlightened more.




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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