Small businesses are the backbone of Kenya’s economy. They contribute at least 45.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs at least 86 percent of the population.
For years, the SME sector in Kenya, despite its importance, had been facing a myriad of challenges, among them inadequate access to capital, inability to crack, and access markets among other challenges.
Stats by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), indicated that at least 450,000 SMEs had closed shop in one year to December 2016. This indicated that at least 30,000 SMEs were dying monthly and 1,000 daily.
The above statistics are not something to smile about. The government, despite the numerous interventions to help the SME sector bloom, has failed to understand what the SMEs want and the real challenges facing them.
The coming of Covid-19 just made matters worse for the SME sector. Millions of them have shut down leaving millions of Kenyans without jobs. Many people have been scratching their heads on how the small businesses in the country will manage to sail through the pandemic.
As many people started working from their homes to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19, businesses witnessed a massive reduction of physical customers.
As some businesses waited for customers to go to them, customers were busy online looking for businesses that could go to them. Many businesses, therefore, have managed to go online in order to meet the needs of their customers.
By going online, businesses are exposed to a wide range of customers looking for various products and services and who are willing to pay via mobile money upon the delivery of whatever they order.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) called on people around the world to avoid the use of banknotes as much as possible since they had the potential of harboring the virus for hours, increasing the risk of the spread of the virus.
In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta called on Kenyans to embrace the use of M-PESA in their day-to-day transactions in paying for goods and services.
Since then, millions of Kenyans and businesses have integrated their businesses to enable them go cashless and give their customers the convenience they need.
Despite cashless transactions being safe and limiting the risk of customers and business owners contracting Covid-19, it also helps businesses to organize their businesses and grow as well as being orderly in record keeping.
M-PESA for Business
In order to help enhance the culture of going cashless, and in order to help businesses grow through enhanced technology, telecommunications giant, Safaricom, came up with M-PESA for Business.
The M-PESA for business targets to empower at least 170,000 merchants who will be able to run their businesses more comfortably than before through making and receiving payments from their customers.
The M-PESA for Business comes with an app, one of its kind that has all the transactions at one’s fingertips any time of the day.
Here are some of the advantages:
It allows business owners to access real-time statements as well as export the same statements.
Allows business owners to track their business performance through a rich, detailed report including money-in, money-out charts, store overview, and frequently used bills.
Business owners can easily withdraw their money to their M-PESA accounts, bank accounts, etc. A business owner can also manage multiple accounts upon registering them on the platform.
Do you have a Lipa Na M-PESA for your business? How is it helping you? Share with us and we shall have your story run.