Best performing small and medium-sized businesses were feted in Nairobi during the inaugural Bizna Annual SME Awards 2019 gala night.
Expeditions Maasai Safaris, a tours and travel company won the top prize, SME of The Year Award while the runners up position went to Twinkle Pharmacy Limited. The two companies also won in the tourism and hospitality and professional services categories, respectively.
SasaHost, a web design and hosting company, won the Most Promising SME Award while Modest Collections won in the transport and logistics category.
Other winners included Soko Brand (Creatives Economy), Nyagah Engineering Ltd (Manufacturing), Username Investments (Real Estate) and IRRI-Hub (Agribusiness).
The Bizna Annual SME Awards 2019 seeks to recognise and celebrate small and medium-sized enterprises based on their performance, profitability, quality of products and customer relations. The Awards is an initiative of Bizna Kenya, a leading marketing and business support provider for small businesses in Kenya.
President-elect of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Mr. Patrick Ngatia, who was the chief guest at the ceremony, called for a review of various laws especially those that limit SMEs access to credit to boost the development of the sector.
He regretted that several small businesses are being denied credit facilities due to negative listing by Credit Reference Bureaus (CRB) hence affecting their operations.
“We will be holding discussions with CRBs and relevant government institutions to find a way through which we can save SMEs from negative listing and unlock credit facilities for them. We cannot transform the sector when access to credit is still a major challenge,” said Ngatia.
Bizna Kenya CEO Mr. Tonnie Mello noted that the sector has a lot of potential for growth but requires major transformations to make it a key driver of economic development.
Mr. Mello said despite major achievements witnessed in the sector in recent years many small business had challenges related to record keeping.
“There is need for capacity building for small business to make them successful. These businesses are run by hardworking entrepreneurs but they require more knowledge on business management,” he said.
He announced that the awards will be expanded to cover all the nine countries where Bizna Kenya has a presence.