Kenya

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Welcome!

This is your virtual country space to connect, engage, learn and explore everything that is important to help you grow your business beyond borders. Your views are important! Share a post, participate in discussions, and speak-up in our polls - tell us about the tools, resources and connections that will help you.

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Welcome to the Kenya Country Space on JamiiTrade, where you can connect with fellow entrepreneurs or companies from across Africa who are interested in doing business with Kenyan entrepreneurs.

You are also able to explore practical how-to information and useful tips (Insights) for entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs on doing business in the country. Whether it is how to register a company or getting your products ready for export, we aim to provide you with all the information at your fingertips (or help find the answers for you if we don't).

Become an active community member by connecting with fellow country Jamii-ers, sharing your own experiences to help others learn, participating in discussions or starting a new one. Your views are important in helping us make this country space relevant to you.

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Kenya is currently hosting a key summit that brings together various heads of state from the continent.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) annual general meetings being held at the KICC started from May 27, and will end on 31st May. The summit also brings together governors of central banks from African countries, policymakers and other delegates.

This year's theme is โ€œAfricaโ€™s Transformation: the African Development Bank, and the Reform of the Global Financial Architecture".

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Kenya bilateral ties with the United States of America keeps growing. The president of Kenya HE.Dr.William Ruto is on official visit to the United States of America, the President is expected to have meetings with President Biden, industry leaders and cooperates. The visit is set to build stronger trade relations between the two countries, fostering African development.

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Thr latest forecast by International Monetary Fund (IMF), has shown that, Kenya is about to overtake Angola economy to become the fourth largest economy in sub-saharan Africa. This positions Kenya as the entry point to wider East and Central Africa markets, this is due to the:

1. Special economic zones.

2.Relaxed Visa requirements.

3.M-pesa.

4.Public-private partnership.

5.Investment Promotion Act.

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As part of our commitment to actively engage with investors, the NSE led by ๐Œ๐ซ. ๐Š๐ข๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐จ ๐Š๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐จ๐ง๐ฒ, ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ข๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ง, ๐๐’๐„, ๐Œ๐ซ.ย Frank Mwiti, ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐‚๐ก๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ ๐„๐ฑ๐ž๐œ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž and ๐Œ๐ซ. ๐ƒ๐š๐ฏ๐ข๐ ๐–๐š๐ข๐ง๐š๐ข๐ง๐š, ๐‚๐ก๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ ๐Ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ž๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐ž๐ซ held discussions with various institutional investors in London to highlight investment opportunities available on the NSE. The meeting which comes on the back of engagements with local retail investors equally created a platform to receive feedback from investors on opportunities to avail as well as the challenges affecting their ability to deploy capital. The feedback will be incorporated into our short-term business strategy.

#NSEMarketPlace

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Kenya ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช is one of the biggest economies in Africa. Latest reports , shows Kenya as the global funding drought for budding companies to post 17% increase in new start up investments. Toppling Nigeria and Egypt as the continents largest destination for start-up financing. ๏ปฟ and Finance๏ปฟ

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Kenya is the leading business hub in East Africa, bringing regional and international organizations together. But more entrepreneurs need to get the right business insights, and networks to grow their businesses. Jamii Trade is one of the platforms that will build many entrepreneurs.

Updates

and Coaching

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As an entrepreneur in Kenya, accessing capital to start or grow your business is crucial. Fortunately, there are several funding options available, ranging from government grants to private investors. Here's an overview of the key funding sources for Kenyan entrepreneurs:

1. Government Grants and Loans

The Kenyan government offers various initiatives to support entrepreneurship and small businesses:

  • Youth Enterprise Development Fund: Provides loans and grants to youth (aged 18-35) for starting or expanding businesses
  • Uwezo Fund: Offers interest-free loans to women, youth, and persons with disabilities
  • Women Enterprise Fund: Provides credit to women entrepreneurs and markets their products

2. Bank Loans

Traditional banks in Kenya offer business loans, though requirements can be strict:

  • Equity Bank's Jijenge Loan and KCB's Biashara Loan are tailored for SMEs
  • Loans are available in Kenyan Shillings and major foreign currencies
  • Collateral, good credit history, and detailed business plans are often required

3. Microfinance Institutions

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) provide financial services to entrepreneurs who may not qualify for traditional bank loans:

  • Faulu Kenya, Musoni Kenya, and Kenya Women Microfinance Bank are popular MFIs
  • Offer small, short-term loans with more flexible requirements than banks

4. Angel Investors and Venture Capital

Angel investors and venture capital firms invest in high-potential startups in exchange for equity:

  • Angel investors are wealthy individuals who provide capital and mentorship
  • Venture capital firms pool funds from multiple investors to make larger investments
  • Both look for innovative ideas, strong teams, and growth potential

5. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding platforms allow entrepreneurs to raise small amounts of money from a large number of people:

  • M-Changa, UleFund, and Kiva are popular crowdfunding sites in Kenya
  • Best for product-based businesses or social impact ventures
  • Requires strong marketing to stand out and attract backers

6. Grants and Competitions

Participating in entrepreneurship competitions and applying for grants can provide non-dilutive funding:

  • USAID's Kenya Investment Mechanism offers performance-based grants
  • The Tony Elumelu Foundation and African Entrepreneurship Award provide grants to African startups
  • Seedstars World, Anzisha Prize, and MEST Africa Challenge hold pitch competitions with cash prizes

7. Incubators and Accelerators

Business incubators and accelerators often provide seed funding alongside mentorship and resources:

  • iBiz Africa, Nailab, and iHub are leading incubators in Kenya
  • Pangea Accelerator runs accelerator programs with investment
  • Offer smaller ticket sizes but valuable support for early-stage startups

When exploring funding options, entrepreneurs should consider their business stage, industry, and growth goals. Having a solid business plan, financial projections, and pitch deck can increase the chances of securing investment

Useful links for more information:

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Starting an online business in Kenya has become increasingly popular due to the growth of e-commerce and digital technologies. However, just like traditional businesses, online ventures must comply with various legal requirements. Here are the key legal considerations for online businesses in Kenya:

1. Business Registration

All businesses operating in Kenya, including online businesses, must register with the relevant authorities. The registration process depends on the type of business structure you choose:

  • Sole Proprietorship: Register with the Registrar of Business Names
  • Partnership: Register with the Registrar of Business Names
  • Limited Liability Company: Register with the Registrar of Companies

2. Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your online business, you may need to obtain specific licenses and permits to operate legally. These may include:

  • Business Permit from the County Government
  • Sector-specific licenses (e.g., food handling, pharmaceuticals)
  • Professional licenses for regulated services (e.g., legal, medical)

3. Tax Registration and Compliance

Online businesses must register for taxes and comply with tax obligations, including:

  • Registering for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)
  • Obtaining a Tax Compliance Certificate
  • Filing tax returns and paying applicable taxes (e.g., Income Tax, Value Added Tax)

4. Data Protection and Privacy

If your online business collects, processes, or stores personal data of customers, you must adhere to the provisions of the Data Protection Act, 2019. Key requirements include:

  • Obtaining consent from data subjects
  • Implementing appropriate security measures to protect personal data
  • Providing privacy notices to inform data subjects about data processing practices

5. Consumer Protection

Online businesses must comply with consumer protection laws, such as the Consumer Protection Act, 2012. This includes:

  • Providing accurate product/service information
  • Honoring warranties and guarantees
  • Implementing fair return and refund policies

6. Intellectual Property Protection

Protect your online business's intellectual property, such as trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Consider registering your IP with the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI).

7. Website Terms and Conditions

Develop clear terms and conditions for your website, outlining key aspects such as:

  • Acceptable use policy
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Limitation of liability
  • Dispute resolution mechanisms

8. Payment Processing and E-commerce Regulations

  • If your online business accepts electronic payments, ensure compliance with relevant regulations, such as:
  • Obtaining necessary approvals from the Central Bank of Kenya for payment processing
  • Complying with the Kenya Information and Communications Act (KICA) provisions on electronic transactions

By understanding and adhering to these legal requirements, you can establish a compliant and legally sound online business in Kenya. It is advisable to seek professional legal guidance to ensure your specific business meets all applicable legal obligations.

Useful links for more information:

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As a business in Kenya looking to export goods or services, itโ€™s important to understand the various tax implications to ensure compliance and avoid unexpected costs. Here are the key tax considerations:

1. Export Duties and Levies

Most goods exported from Kenya do not attract export duties. However, some select items like hides and skins, scrap metal, and oil products are subject to export levies as outlined in the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2016

2. Import Duties in Destination Country

While exports from Kenya may be exempt from duties, the importing country may impose its own tariffs. These vary widely depending on the HS code of the product and any trade agreements between Kenya and the destination country

3. Value Added Tax (VAT)

Goods exported from Kenya are zero-rated for VAT purposes. This means no VAT is charged on exports, and the exporter can claim back any input VAT incurred

For services, the VAT treatment depends on the place of use or consumption of the service:

  • If the service is provided to a client outside Kenya for use/consumption outside Kenya, it qualifies as an exported service and is zero-rated
  • However, if any part of the service is consumed in Kenya, even if the client is foreign, 16% VAT applies
  • There has been some uncertainty on this provision, with disputes between taxpayers and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). Exporters need to carefully evaluate the VAT treatment of their services

4. Income Tax

  • Profits from exported goods or services are subject to standard corporate income tax at 30% for local companies, or 37.5% for branches of foreign companiesย ย 
  • Companies in Export Processing Zones (EPZs) enjoy a reduced corporate tax rate of 0% for 10 years and 25% for the next 10 yearsย ย 

5. Withholding Tax

Payments to non-resident persons for management, professional, or training services provided to Kenyan companies are subject to withholding tax at 20%

6. Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)

Kenya has DTAs with several countries that can provide relief from double taxation. However, these mainly apply to income taxes and may not cover VAT or other indirect taxes

To ensure compliance, exporters should:

  • Properly classify their goods/services and determine the applicable taxes
  • Register for relevant export licenses and permits
  • Maintain clear documentation of export sales and expenses
  • Use a reputable freight forwarder or customs agent
  • Consult a tax professional for guidance

Useful links for more information:

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