The European Commission (EC) pledged its support to SMEs through networks and funding. The commission plans to boost European investments in Kenya as well as improve the business environment for European companies.
These will have ripple effects where Kenyan enterprises will benefit from the improved operating environment.
The commission is looking to support home-based economic developments. This is especially important because SMEs contribute up to 20% of Kenya’s GDP.
EC will offer funding opportunities and professional assistance to enterprises that use tech to solve local problems. According to Daily Nation, the commission set up Ksh286 million to establish the Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership (AEIP). The partnership will help local startups link with private sector players and investors in Europe.
Additionally, the commission will use AEIP to link incubators between the two continents. This will foster technology transfer between African tech startups and European innovation ecosystems. Furthermore, EC Director for International Co-operation Maria Christina revealed that the partnership would offer a direct link for African startups to access European markets.
“AEIP is a catalyst for direct engagements between European and African incubators that explores models for technology transfer and access to markets while developing skills for African’ tech-preneurs’. It will facilitate new investments, new companies and generate new jobs,” she added.
AEIP will run till June 2021, helping local SMEs explore foreign markets and access funding through platforms like Horizon 2020.