An initiative to equip over 50,000 owners of Micro Small Enterprises (MSEs) with the relevant digital skills by the end of this year has kicked off in Nairobi with the aim of expanding to multiple counties across the country.
The digital skilling initiative dubbed Future Ni Digital is part of the digital program that was launched earlier this year with key private sector players and the government. These partners include the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development (MoITED), the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), Stanbic Kenya Foundation, Microsoft Kenya, and the African Center for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT).
Speaking at the Kariobangi Center of Excellence during the start of the training, the Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Mr. Lawrence Karanja applauded the partners for supporting the government in its efforts to promote digital technologies and ICT as a way of creating employment opportunities and improving on public service delivery. The program expects to place 2,000 youth into employment by the end of 2021.
“Our mission is to create an environment that makes our MSE sector globally competitive, and we are honoured to partner with such noble stakeholders who are appreciative and aligned to meeting this National goal. Continuous skill improvement is key for survival in today’s dynamic market environment, that is why we have come together to address the knowledge and skill gaps in digital literacy that will benefit 50,000 MSEs. This partnership is timely and oriented to the Authority’s strategic direction of focusing key service delivery functions on digitization and innovation to better serve the MSE sector,’’ the CEO of MSEA, Mr. Henry Rithaa said on his part.
The Future Ni Digital initiative will offer online digital entrepreneurial skills to assist these MSEs to expand and grow their businesses in the ever-changing digital market. As part of this, 192 trainers have already undergone the requisite training in a bid to kick off the mass training of the entrepreneurs.
Stanbic Kenya Foundation and Microsoft Kenya have also deployed an online learning platform to enable learners to access content and further develop their skills. The trainers are drawn from the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), the Kenya Industrial Business Training, Uasin Gishu and Nakuru counties as well as County Industrial Development Officers from around the country.
In total, over 1,000 trainers from different government agencies will be trained to become instructors who will then engage with the various MSE’s and upskill them on how to leverage on online and digital platforms to grow their businesses. The Foundation also donated ten laptop computers to the MSEA Training Center at Kariobangi and is set to donate a total of 400 computers to the other training centers across the country.
“As a bank, we seek to elevate businesses and individuals and empower them to achieve their dreams. Many enterprises in the country are still struggling to recover from the effects of the global pandemic, and we have seen that having digital skills is key to survival. Building the capacity of Kenyan citizens by providing access to resources and knowledge is in line with our objectives as part of our non-financial support,” Stanbic Bank Kenya CEO, Charles Mudiwa noted.