The Kenya Private Sector (KEPSA) has launched an ecommerce booster program targeting at least 2,000 Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (MSMES).

The program is funded by the European Union and UK’s Foreign Commonwealth Development Office, with support from TradeMark East Africa. Amari Consulting will provide the technical support for the booster program.

The program targets businesses with little or no digital presence for training and on-boarding to e-commerce platforms. This is in an effort to ensure MSMEs can increase and diversify their revenue streams during this period of COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the economic disruptions of COVID-19 e-commerce has been embraced as an important tool and solution for businesses and consumers. E-commerce is an economic driver for both domestic growth and international trade, thus making economies more competitive.

As a result, attention has been drawn to several challenges hindering the full potential of e-commerce across many countries. These include price gouging, product safety concerns, deceptive practices, weak delivery logistics, cyber security concerns, among other development-related concerns.

The six month long initiative will build the capacity of MSMEs to engage in e-commerce and digital marketing as well as create linkages for domestic and cross-border trade.

Listed below are the KEPSA e-commerce booster program main objectives.

  1. To help SMEs gain the digital skills necessary to engage in a digital economy and improve livelihoods.
  2. To support SMEs in the wholesale and retail sector with little or no e-commerce presence to get on board e-commerce platforms to increase and diversify revenue streams during the COVID-19 period.
  3. To support Kenyan SMEs to expand their local and cross-border e-commerce presence.
  4. To build capacity of SMEs to raise their proficiency in implementing effective digital campaigns, and increase their brand awareness, value and sales conversions across multiple digital channels

In her opening remarks, KEPSA CEO, Ms. Carole Kariuki Karuga said, “When Covid-19 hit in early 2020, it re-awakened the digital revolution amid lock-downs, curfews and work from home arrangements. Business-to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) sales spiked for businesses that were able to provide their products/services through online platforms,” Ms. Karuga said.

Also speaking during the launch, the CAS Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Mr. David Osiany, said, “As the government, appreciate our partners, Trade Mark East Africa, European Union and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office or the continued cooperation in this mandate,” he said.