Safaricom mulls support for SMEs in the wake of COVID-19

As the covid-19 pandemic continues to devastate economies and take a toll on businesses, Kenya’s telecommunication giant Safaricom has reiterated its commitment to work with SMEs who have borne the greatest brunt of the virus even as the company outlines measures it is putting in place to insulate itself from the virus shock.

Speaking to CNN’s Richard Quest, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa elaborated the nexus between Safaricom’s future and Kenyan SMEs that are the lifeline of the country’s economic growth.

“We want to take it to a new level. We want to go into new products. And we also see a big opportunity for SMEs. We know that SMEs have been affected significantly by Covid prices as they come back to life after Covid. We want to support SMEs. So, SMEs control 40 percent of their economic activity and employ 80 percent in Kenya. We want to be two empire SMEs to do their business better,” Mr. Ndgegwa said further adding: “The Covid crisis is much more about socio economic crisis… We’ve been able to manage the health effect much better. I do believe that we need to support SMEs because most people, 80 percent of their employment in Kenya and across Sub-Saharan Africa comes from SMEs.”

Mr. Ndegwa said that the telco has been working with the government and other players in introducing digital opportunities that SMEs can tap into. “That’s why we really want to empower SMEs using M-PESA and also through digital services so that we can bring them back. We have been working with the government and also other partners to support them to come back into the country.”