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Empowering SMEs for Business Competitiveness – 5th Annual SME Conference

Mr. Robert Kibaara making his Keynote Address

The 5th Annual SME Conference, under the theme Empowering SMEs for Business Competitiveness, took place on 15th and 16th June, 2017. Over 300 entrepreneurs from across the nation attended.

Hosted by Strathmore Enterprise Development Centre (SEDC) and sponsored by NIC Bank Kenya, NIC Business Club, K24, Branding Beyond Borders, People Daily, LaBonita Events, and ATS Travel, the 2-day event provided a platform for entrepreneurs to interact, engage, and learn from business experts in Kenya today.

Renowned business experts, motivators and speakers that included; Prof. Ella Dashanaba King – Business Advisor, Life Coach, Entrepreneur and Youth Coach; Ms. Nana Wanjau – CEO, Branding Beyond Borders; Mr. Daniel Kamau – CEO, Fusion Capital; Mrs. Esther Wairumbi – Trainers, Business Financial and Literacy Coach; Mrs. Radhika Lee – CEO, Nairobi International School; and Mr. Kiprono Kittony – Chairman, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keynote Speaker), took the business enthusiasts through a thorough informative session on the first day.

The team discussed the topic Opportunity Areas for Business SME Competitiveness. The sessions involved individual presentations and Q&A sessions, which afforded entrepreneurs a chance to learn and grow from these professionals. The need for businesses to attain business plans and road maps that would direct their businesses forward, was a key message by all the experts.

Dr. David Wangombe – Dean School of Management and Commerce (SMC) Strathmore University; Angelica Kiboro – Lecturer SMC; Mr. James Karundu – CEO, Passionbiz Academy; Ms. Beatrice Wababu – CEO, WABCOM Ventures; Mr. Patrick Wameyo – Founder, Financial Academy and Technologies; and Mr. Robert Kibaara – Director Retail Banking NIC Bank (who gave the keynote address), were the key guests speakers on day two of the enlightening SME conference.

With oomph and enthusiasm, the teams discussed the topic Building Strategic Business Networks for SMEs. Entrepreneurs were educated on the importance of branding and imaging, customer experiences, professionalism, managing finances and communicating effectively.

Unique to this year’s conference was the inaugural networking sessions that took place in the afternoon of each day, through guidance from LaBonita Events. The sessions involved classifying entrepreneurs into different small groups, where an opportunity of interacting with like-minded individuals on different area of business interests was introduced. The sessions allowed for one-one engagement with teams of upto 10 entrepreneurs who obtained a chance to exchange business cards and share notes.