A working capital solutions company and a Nairobi based online recruiting service firm held a workshop on October 25 to discuss the complementary role of human capital and working capital in transforming and growing small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The forum organised by Momentum Credit Ltd and Shortlist Professionals targetted SME owners and C-level executives in finance and human resource management. The platform explored the link between human capital and working capital on SME’s performance in the resilient business environment.
With SMEs playing a siginificant role in Kenya’s economy, the sector still grapples with challenges related to finance and establishing an effective workforce.
Momentum chief executive Job Muriuki said that business ideas require convenient access to capital and an efficient work force so as to thrive.
The CEO of the working capital solutions company that was formed last year also said a lot of focus has been placed on challenges SMEs face while accessing finance. “There is a need to shift the conversation from financial constrains encountered by such businesses to incorporate other critical elements that hinder them from attaining growth and profitability,” said Mr. Muriuki.
The workshop also discussed that a company will be able to provide exceptional products and services only when they have high-quality talent and urged company owners and leaders to invest a lot of time and resources in workforce planning.
Managing Director East Africa at Shortlist Professionals Ariane Fischer said, “Lack of a competent workforce will cost SMEs time, money and eventually affect overall business performance.”
The MD of the Nairobi based recruiting service which offers its services to SMEs in Africa and India also stated that as business owners evaluate different ways to raise capital, a lot of consideration should also place on workforce management.
According to the discussions at the workshop, most SMEs do not have HR departments because of budget constraints.
Additionally, many of these businesses are more concerned about the growth and scale aspects as opposed to people and culture-related issues which in turn creates a challenge of managing talent, especially in recruitment, employee training and development.