Microsoft-Stanbic Partnership Eyes to Equip 50K Micro Small Enterprises With Digital Skills

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James Irungu of Jatreteh Auto demonstrates the use of digital skills he has acquired through the Future Ni Digital Initiative, a partnership programme between Microsoft, Stanbic Bank and Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA). Looking on from left, Lorna Kanyuga (Philanthropies Lead, Microsoft), Henry Rithaa (CEO MSEA) and Pauline Mbayah (Head, Stanbic Bank Foundation). The programme aims to equip 50,000 small businesses with relevant IT skills to grow their businesses by the end of this year.

A program to equip over 50000 owners of Micro Small Enterprises (MSEs) with the relevant digital skills by the end of this year has kicked off in Nairobi, targeting to be expanded to multiple counties across the country.

The digital skilling initiative named Future Ni Digital is part of the digital program that was launched earlier this year with the key private sector players and government.

These partners include the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development (MoITED), the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), Stanbic Kenya Foundation, Microsoft Philanthropies, and the African Center for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT).


The Future Ni Digital initiative will offer online digital entrepreneurial skills to assist these MSEs to expand and grow their businesses in the ever-changing digital market. 

As part of this, 192 trainers have already undergone the requisite training in a bid to kick off the mass training of the entrepreneurs.

Stanbic Kenya Foundation and Microsoft Kenya have also deployed an online learning platform to enable learners to access content and further develop their skills.

The trainers are drawn from the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), the Kenya Industrial Business Training, Uasin Gishu and Nakuru counties as well as County Industrial Development Officers from around the country.

In total, over 1,000 trainers from different government agencies will be trained to become instructors who will then engage with the various MSE’s and upskill them on how to leverage on online and digital platforms to grow their businesses.

The Stanbic Kenya Foundation donated ten laptop computers to the MSEA Training Center at Kariobangi and are set to donate a total of 400 computers to the other training centers across the country.

ACWICT, the implementing partners of the digital program, developed the curriculum for the trainings and are currently rolling out the training sessions with the MSEA members.

Quotes

Our mission is to create an environment that makes our MSE sector globally competitive, and we are honoured to partner with such noble stakeholders who are appreciative and aligned to meeting this National goal. Continuous skill improvement is key for survival in today’s dynamic market environment, that is why we have come together to address the knowledge and skill gaps in digital literacy that will benefit 50,000 MSEs. This partnership is timely and oriented to the Authority’s strategic direction of focusing key service delivery functions on digitization and innovation to better serve the MSE sector.

CEO of MSEA, Mr. Henry Rithaa

As a bank, we seek to elevate businesses and individuals and empower them to achieve their dreams. Many enterprises in the country are still struggling to recover from the effects of the global pandemic, and we have seen that having digital skills is key to survival. Building the capacity of Kenyan citizens by providing access to resources and knowledge is in line with our objectives as part of our non-financial support.

Stanbic Bank Kenya CE, Charles Mudiwa


Microsoft has operated in Africa for close to 30 years. In that time, we’ve built strong partnerships across the continent, helped bridge gaps in infrastructure, connectivity, capability, and we are working to assist the continent to digitally transform while creating sustained societal impact,” Kendi said. “It also represents our desire to support the Kenyan talent create innovative solutions for local and global impact while also addressing the existing gap in some of the required digital skills for the new age.

Microsoft Country Manager for Kenya, Kendi Ntwiga


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