…this is aimed at promoting quality management practices in Kenya…
Nairobi 6th April 2018…In yet another move to ensure high standards are maintained in the country, the Kenya Bureau of Standards is inviting entrepreneurs to be part of the Kenya Quality Award (KQA) scheme.
The Kenya Quality Award (KQA) scheme championed by the KEBS National Quality Institute, is a programme aimed at promoting quality management practices especially amongst Medium, Small, and Micro- Enterprises (MSMEs) and entrench a culture of quality in the Kenyan society.
This initiative is open to all Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises(MSME) i in Kenya. The scheme will be launched in November and stakeholders have been urged to give feedback on the newly established award.
Speaking during a stakeholder forum, KEBS Managing Director, Mr. Charles Ongwae, said “We are excited to share with you our aspirations for this scheme as an opportunity for us to celebrate the most outstanding entrepreneurs in the country. The award scheme provides an opportunity for the MSME sector to learn from the best and inspire other entrepreneurs to further raise standards and business performance.”
According to statistics by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) 2016 on National MSME survey, this informal sector is estimated to contribute 28.5% of the total economy in Kenya. Despite this importance in economic development, the survey further revealed that 46% closed their business operations within 1 year, 15% closed within 2 years, 10% closed within 3 years, 5% closed within 4 years, 4% closed within 5 years, 11% closed between 6-10 years and 4 % closed within 11-15 years while only 5% survived over 15 years.
The KQA scheme, therefore, provides a system for commitment to the quality maturity approach by which MSMEs develop and implement quality systems that will result in effective operations, viability, sustainability, and growth.
In addition, participating in this award scheme, enhances market access, customer confidence, access to financing and sustainability.
The Principal Secretary, State Department of Industry and Investment, Betty Maina called upon the Micro, Small and Medium sector to come up with strategies that will grow respective industries by leveraging standards and conformity assessment.
While addressing the participants, Maina said, “Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in Kenya in line with the priorities outlined in the government’s big four strategies aimed at reviving economic growth and putting the economy on a high, broad-based, inclusive and sustainable growth trajectory.”
Adding, Maina also noted the government under the Ministry of Industry is upscaling its efforts to create an innovative environment that will foster the development of education programs that will boost the attractiveness of entrepreneurship and encourage an entrepreneurial mindset and incentivizing business training and support for SMEs.
Ongwae further said, there is need to provide a framework to address quality issues in all the aspects of the quality infrastructure. This he said will be achieved through participating in the quality award scheme.
The Awards will be conferred on organizations that place emphasis on Quality, Excellence, and Sustainability in their day to day business operation.
KEBS has published a total of 9,417 Kenya Standards to date and these include a series of Standards in support of the big four agenda among other National Priority Sectors. Kenya has also participated in the harmonization of a total1,374 East African Standards.
“To facilitate free movement of goods within the region as envisaged in the EAC treaty, standards will play a key role in positioning the country to benefit from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) agreement,” said Ongwae.