The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and Kenya Development Corporation (KDC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help SMEs easily access financial services in Kenya.

The partnership aims to spur growth in the SME sector which has faced difficulty in accessing affordable credit from lenders due to a lack of guarantees and collateral.

Speaking during the signing of the MoU, CMA’s CEO Wyckliffe Shamiah noted that the agreement seeks to address the gap in access to financial services by Small & Medium Enterprises(SMEs). They face a major challenge in accessing adequate, affordable and timely credit despite the critical role they play in the economy.

“CMA is committed to working with KDC more closely than ever before to maintain the momentum in priority spelt out in our partnership which includes promoting SMEs and large enterprises utilizing of capital market security, pursuing education awareness and stakeholder engagement to promote an increase in knowledge and uptake of respective institutions’ products and services,” Wyckliffe Shamiah.

The MoU seeks to address gaps in long term financing, leveraging technology to increase the capital market’s product uptake and collaboration in research, and policy. It also includes regulatory work aimed at creating a conducive environment for capital market funding.

KDC’s Director General Christopher Huka, on his part, noted that such partnerships are very essential, especially in the current globalization era, to spur the country’s economic growth.

“Access to finance is one of the biggest barriers preventing SMEs from starting, sustaining, and growing their businesses. This partnership provides an opportunity for SMEs to access affordable financial services and products tailored to meet their needs, “Christopher Huka.

The partnership envisages a joint undertaking of initiatives to promote the utilization of financial products and services by SMEs and large sized enterprises. This is in addition to the awareness and promotion of other financial services such as financial investments and business advisory services that will be offered.