Strathmore and ABSA Propel SMEs to New Heights with KOMA Training Program


Strathmore University, in collaboration with ABSA Bank, concluded the inaugural KOMA Training Program on May 30, 2024. This transformative initiative is designed to foster growth in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by implementing essential systems and processes, serving as a crucial precursor to scaling up.

Hosted at the Strathmore Centre for Value Investing (SCVI), a premier research hub within the Strathmore Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the eight-week intensive course is already making waves in the entrepreneurial landscape.

The KOMA Training Program, aptly named to signify “pause to take stock” in Swahili, aims to foster substantial development within the SME sector through two key strategies. Firstly, it encourages founders to gradually detach from daily operational roles, fostering an environment where their businesses can thrive independently. Secondly, it initiates a thorough analysis of current systems and processes, guiding founders to enhance and optimize them for sustained success.

KOMA attracted eight Founders from diverse fields, including IT, the service industry, and communications. The main objective of the program was to transform the mindset of the founders from working in their businesses to working on their businesses. The eight-week half day sessions were designed to be the beginning of a continuous process, with the expectation that participants would continue this practice even after the formal classes concluded.

“This is the first phase of a year-long journey where faculty, staff, and students from Strathmore will partner with SME founders to achieve sustainable growth,” said Robert Yawe, one of the KOMA facilitators. “This innovative approach breaks away from traditional training methods, extending engagement beyond the coursework’s conclusion.”

The program featured a blend of classes, interactive talks, and hands-on activities facilitated by faculty from within Strathmore University who are authorities in their various fields. Participants also benefited from comprehensive training materials, digital tools, and one-on-one coaching sessions tailored to their specific business needs.

Participants reported significant benefits from the program. For instance, Stanley Irungu of SoftByte Technologies LTD credits KOMA with not only improving his business’s financial health but also equipping him with the tools and strategies needed to attract and retain customers in a competitive market landscape.

On her part, Maureen Bandari of Bandari Beauty says, “KOMA has been instrumental in preparing my business for future succession. The emphasis on gradually letting go of daily operations and fostering a strong organizational structure has given me the confidence that my company can thrive beyond my direct involvement.”

Her sentiments are echoed by Sheila Ndinda of Spritz Hair Studio who says the program’s emphasis on delegation and strategic growth has been invaluable. It has allowed her to step back from daily operations and focus on long-term planning, which is essential for her company’s expansion goals.

Looking ahead, the KOMA Training Program is poised to expand its impact. The program aims to accommodate more SMEs in future cohorts, continually enhancing the economic landscape by empowering entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge necessary for success.

Article written by: Stephen Wakhu

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