The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has partnered with Nation Media Group’s (NMG’s) Business Daily and KPMG for the upcoming Top 100 SME Awards, slated for later this year.
The awards, founded by KPMG and Business Daily, seek to recognize and celebrate outstanding medium-sized entrepreneurial ventures innovating to solve market problems and making waves in Kenya. These organisations make up a majority of the firms in Africa, create millions of employment opportunities and make significant contributions towards the economy.
“IFC is proud to partner with the Top 100 SME Awards. SMEs are critical to the economic and social development of emerging markets – they are the backbone of our economies. Supporting small and medium-sized businesses is at the core of IFC’s work in Kenya and we look forward to empowering more of these critical businesses through these awards,” Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa said.
Over the years, the average number of firms participating in the survey has grown from 300 in 2008, to 800 in 2019. This is a testament to the value of the awards, with past winners indicating that their organisation’s brand and reputation were enhanced as a result of the recognition. Following the two-year hiatus due the onset of the Covid-19 p******c, this year’s awards will seek to identify growing SME’s that have successfully pivoted and redefined their business in this period.
“The p******c changed our world and indeed, the landscape in which our businesses operate. In particular, we have seen social issues, gender equality and climate change thrust to the forefront as citizens across the world hold governments and organisations to account on their role in addressing these issues. Essentially, ESG is now a top agenda item in organisations and is going to influence how we do business. It is paramount for mid-size companies to appreciate how they will be held accountable on their ESG commitments by diverse stakeholders including Suppliers, Customers and Regulators among others, and how they too, will hold their business relationships to account. Sustainability, diversity, equity & Inclusion, responsible tax and good citizens are some of the areas that now comprise ESG and these are increasingly becoming key considerations for investors including organisations like IFC,” KPMG East Africa Senior Partner and CEO, Benson Ndung’u.
Speaking at the signing, NMG Group Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Gitagama said “As a firm, we are committed to the growth and development of SME’s, and have over the years curated content and events that speak to the inherent opportunities and challenges that they face. As such, we are very excited to be walking this journey with the IFC this year. As you all know, they have been at the forefront of investing in emerging markets and economies for decades, and as such, are the perfect partner for this venture.” He went on to appreciate the long-standing partnership with KPMG, who he indicated have been instrumental in the awards from their inception.