Articles

Strengthening Small Businesses in Kisumu County

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

A transformative initiative called ‘Smart Duka’ is set to empower 500 retail shop owners in Kisumu, paving the way for economic growth and prosperity. Implemented in partnership with TechnoServe and the county government, this program offers essential skills and resources to help small businesses flourish.

The program covers many topics, including marketing strategies, financial literacy, inventory management, and customer relations, by offering one-on-one consultations and group training sessions.

According to Farida Salim, the Executive Member for Trade, Tourism, Industry, and Marketing in Kisumu County, the ‘Smart Duka’ initiative is a testament to the county’s commitment to supporting small businesses.

Sebastian Oggema, the Deputy County Director of TechnoServe, highlighted the collaborative nature of the initiative, stating, “This program presents an opportunity for collaboration between Smart Duka and the Kisumu County government. By working together, we can create an environment that fosters sustainable business growth within the micro-retail sector.”

The Project Manager, Elsie Ngina, elaborated on how ‘Smart Duka’ leverages digital platforms and programs to target high-potential micro-retailers, particularly those in low-income areas. She emphasized the importance of ongoing support and mentorship: “The program focuses on building essential skills by providing training in business and financial management through various digital platforms and the TechnoServe Crisis Management Toolkit.”

Data from TechnoServe demonstrates the program’s positive impact, with over 5,900 micro-retail shops supported, creating jobs and increasing revenue.

The ‘Smart Duka’ initiative represents a significant step towards empowering small businesses in Kisumu County, creating a lasting positive impact on the local economy and community by providing essential skills, resources, and ongoing support.

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