Kenyan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are showing newfound confidence and optimism for the year ahead, according to the second edition of the Mastercard Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EEMEA) SME Confidence Index.
The survey, which polled over 2,000 SMEs across 14 countries in the EEMEA region, found that 66% of Kenyan SMEs are now confident in their business prospects for the next 12 months, up from 45% in the previous year. This increase in optimism is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of Kenyan SMEs, which have faced significant challenges in recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic uncertainty.
The survey also revealed that Kenyan SMEs are increasingly embracing digital transformation as a key driver of growth. Ninety-seven percent of respondents believe that omnichannel payments represent the most significant opportunity for their business, while 96% view the digitization of their business operations as a key avenue for development.
These findings highlight the importance of digital transformation in today’s business landscape, with SMEs recognizing the need to adopt innovative payment solutions and modernize their operations to remain competitive and relevant.
The Mastercard SME Confidence Index survey also found that Kenyan SMEs are facing a number of challenges, including access to finance, rising costs, and the need for skilled labor. However, the survey also revealed that Kenyan SMEs are confident in their ability to overcome these challenges and achieve growth in the year ahead.
The survey also found that Kenyan SMEs are increasingly looking to the government and other stakeholders for support in their digital transformation journey. Ninety-five percent of respondents emphasized the importance of access to training and development support, while 89% called for government policies that promote the adoption of digital technologies.
The Mastercard SME Confidence Index survey provides valuable insights into the current state and future outlook of SMEs in Kenya. The survey findings highlight the growing importance of digital transformation for SMEs and the need for government and other stakeholders to provide support to SMEs in their digital journey.
What Can Be Done to Support SMEs in Their Digital Transformation Journey?
Governments and other stakeholders can play a vital role in supporting SMEs in their digital transformation journey by:
- Providing access to affordable and reliable broadband internet
- Investing in digital skills training and development programs
- Offering financial incentives and support for SMEs to adopt digital technologies
- Creating a regulatory environment that is conducive to digital innovation
By taking these steps, governments and other stakeholders can help SMEs to harness the power of digital technology to grow and succeed.