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 How MSEA is transforming Entrepreneurship in Kenya: Part 2

Who we are!

The Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) is a state corporation under the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development. Mandated to promote, develop and regulate micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Kenya, MSEA is implementing key Government programmes aimed at mainstreaming the contribution of MSEs towards the activation of Vision 2030 and the Big 4 Agenda.

In part one, we spoke about our involvement in infrastructure development and job creation in favor of Micro and Small Enterprises. In part 2, we discuss capacity building and creation of market linkages.


The Authority has also entered into several partnership agreements with financial institutions and development partners to collaborate on MSEs financial empowerment, advisory services capacity building and market access opportunities. This is in line with the Authority’s strategy which is pegged on the framework of partnerships with the private sector to facilitate substantial development outcomes for MSEs. The United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs has supported the development of MSEA Strategic Plan 2020- 2025 and a survey on the impact of Covid-19 on youth and women-owned enterprises. MSEA is also in a number of partnerships with Financial Service Providers which serve as a conduit for promoting the formalization of MSEs seeking access to credit. These include Stanbic Bank, Equity bank and Family bank.

For MSE skills development, MSEA is implementing the Digital Learning and Skills initiative launched in 2021 by the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development (MoITED) in partnership with Stanbic Kenya Foundation, Microsoft Kenya and the African Center for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT). Dubbed FutureNiDigital, this initiative will offer online digital entrepreneurial skills to assist MSEs to expand and grow their businesses based on a Microsoft certification. Training is currently done at MSEA’s Kariobangi Centre of Excellence and will be rolled out in Kisumu, Meru and Murang’a for the pilot phase.

Handing over of computers for digital training during the launch of the future ni digital initiative

MSEA has partnered with ILO and ITCILO to develop an online Business Development Services portal to train master crafts persons under the Better Utilization of Skills for Youth ILO #BUSYProject. The BUSY (Better Utilization of Skills for Youth) Project is a 4-year initiative financed by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), and implemented by International Labour Organization (ILO). The strategy is expected to be a sustainable measure to scale up training of MCPs in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic and the future. The courses are available on https://bds-msea.itcilo.org/

Formalization of micro and small enterprises: The Office of the Registrar of MSEs

The Authority has operationalized the Office of the Registrar whose main function is registration and maintenance of a database of registered MSEs. In partnership with UNDP, the Authority has established the infrastructure and hardware necessary to facilitate the registration of MSE associations. The initiative looks to engage local businesses in the informal sector to meaningfully participate in the economy through the regional trading blocs and other opportunities brought about by formalization. It will also help provide targeted government interventions across the MSE         sector, as well as guide Government policy and planning initiatives.

Walid Badawi UNDP Kenya Country representative handing over ICT equipment to MSEA CEO MR Henry Rithaa

Media brief and photo opportunity for the delegation representing UNDP Kenya and MSEA during the handover ceremony

President Uhuru Kenyatta when he unveiled the 750 winners of the MbeleNaBiz business plan competition. 


MSEA has been facilitating MSEs to access local, regional and international markets to expose their products to market. In the 21st EAC MSMEs trade fair held in Mwanza Tanzania, MSEA supported 320 MSEs to exhibit. The next regional MSMEs trade fair will be in Uganda in December 2022.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an accelerated shift towards a more digital world. To revitalise the MSE sector, the Authority is moving with urgency to ensure MSEs seize the opportunities offered by E-commerce as the world moves from pandemic response to recovery. The Authority is seeking the support of ILO to expand the newly developed an online Business Development Services portal to include an online marketing platform.

MSEs showcasing their merchandise at the 21st EAC MSMEs Trade Fair


During this period of the Covid-19 pandemic, MSEA has been supporting enterprises in various ways. It has been feeding the Government with real-time information on the disruptions in the markets across the country, through the command centre for Covid-19 response initiative.

Further, the Authority has also come up with small tenders for its members to help cushion the businesses and has bought from their goods and services. The call is for all stakeholders to prioritize procurement from the MSE sector as part of the Buy Kenya, Build Kenya push.