Opportunities for SMEs at the NSE #SMELinkConference

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 – Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have numerous opportunities to raise money through the capital markets. 

Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) Chief Executive Geofrey Odundo says SMEs should not hide away from the markets as they offer different ways to raise money. 

Some of the opportunities include corporate bonds. Investors who buy corporate bonds are lending money to the company issuing the bond. In return, the company makes a legal commitment to pay interest on the principal and in most cases, commit to return the principal when the bond is due. 

“Following the COVID-19 pandemic, investors are raising money mainly on the bond market. Last year alone, we raised Sh18 billion from the bond market, and we are encouraging companies to come and do this, even as they consider equity raising in the long term,” Odundo added. 

From the SME Space, there is limited interest coming through, and this lays an opportunity for them. The SME Conference will provide insight on how SMEs can leverage on the bond market to raise money. 

Other opportunities include the IBUKA programme, an incubation and acceleration programme  designed to end a prolonged listing drought at the bourse by taking SMEs through a 10 month incubation period. 

The program is designed around Hosting on non-trading boards; these are the Incubator Board and the Accelerator Board. The program enables Kenyan companies to fast-track their development by accessing financial advisors and consultants to help them structure their businesses, enhance visibility and get exposure to local and international investors.  

Some of the benefits for SMEs on the Ibuka programme include enhanced visibility, exposure to local and international investors and accessing financial advisors and consultants to help them structure their businesses if there is a need to. Additionally, there are follow up meetings to monitor the progress of the firm and ensure that its financials are attractive to different investors. The meetings also ensure that all the documents are aligned to the companies act requirement.

There have been twenty four firms from different sectors of the economy who have joined the program and are enjoying the different services offered. The program is also helping these companies to be listed companies at the NSE Plc. The different firms originate from the insurance sector, technology sector, the motor industry, media industry, manufacturing sector and we are open to all other sectors. If you would like to learn more on the opportunities at the capital markets, register for the SMELink Conference set for April 20 – 23 at the Movenpick Hotel. 

Vusi Thembekwayo, one of Africa’s youngest, most sought after global speakers, venture capitalist, business leader and among the most successful entrepreneurs on the continent, is the Keynote speaker at the event. 

“These are some of the many things we will learn at the conference. I urge all SMEs to sign up, and get a chance to learn all they need in a bid to succeed,” Odundo, who is one of the key speakers added. 

Other notable key speakers including Kris Senanu Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Safaricom, Andia Chakava, Founding Principal of AC AdvisoryDirector at the Graça Machel, Trust and founding Chairperson of New Faces New Voices Kenya chapter, Eric Osiakwan, Managing Partner, Chanzo Capital,Flora Mutahi Founder Melvin Marsh International, Samchi Group CEO Esther Muchemi, David Osiany Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization Trade and Enterprise Development as well as James Mureu Micro and Small Business Authority Board Chairman among others.

Tickets are available here https://conference.smelink.app/

The conference has also brought together venture capitalists who will shortlist three businesses to be placed on the Investor Track on the SMELink platform for funding opportunities. 

Those who want to participate must register first here : https://conference.smelink.app/