More than 95% of all businesses in most economies around the world are SMEs, contributing between 30% and 50% of GDP and sometimes up to 50% of employment. When governments want to create jobs, they turn to SMEs. Their cumulative impact on employment is generally multiple and not incremental.
If 100,000 SMEs each create one job, that makes 100,000 jobs. Companies, on the other hand, are known for their restructuring and efficiency. However, for them to create those kinds of jobs, it would take them years and lots and lots of scaling up.
Despite this important contribution, SMEs still have no place in many economies. Their fragmented nature also muffles their voices. However, their impact continues to be felt.
The Great Baraza
In 2020, a few Kenyan SME professional services experts came together and decided to create a forum, The Big Baraza, which is tailored for SME conversations by entrepreneurs and institutions that want to engage with them, create relevant products and services or integrate small businesses as part of their value chain so that they feel heard and interact with each other.
Two years later, the Big Baraza is now integrated into an annual convention, organized by the SNDBX.
The truth is that adversity is not the enemy of progress, but rather one of the greatest catalysts for progress. In fact, many seasoned business owners will tell you that there is no shortage of opportunity despite adversity. The trick is knowing how to spot them.
When a disruption occurs, three things to consider when looking for opportunities are to first observe how your customers are consuming your product again and ask yourself if your product meets their need or purpose.
Second, understand their challenges which could range from lack of access; customers may be denied access to a service or product because it is too far away or not available at the right time. Limited know-how
Customers often lack knowledge on how to use a solution. That’s why companies like IKEA made DIY furniture, making it possible for everyone to become a carpenter.
Finally, time is limited. Sometimes customers just don’t have time to consume a product or service. This is why convenience-focused solutions supported by e-commerce platforms have become extremely popular. Online shopping complete with free shipping and cash on receipt is irresistible.
The Big Baraza is an unmissable opportunity for business owners to reflect and renew their commitment to the dreams they once had at the start of their journey.
Just as a vehicle needs regular maintenance to keep it running at its optimum level, contractors also need a pit stop like the one offered by the Big Baraza, where they can access professional service experts who diagnose them and advise them on practical solutions to try to grow. even in a broken economy.
Through keynote speeches, workshops, breakout sessions, notable speakers who have built businesses, SMEs will interact and discuss the frustrations of starting a business, adapting to changes in the environment operational and positioning for growth, funding and scale.
These conversations will also take place with key players in the life of an SME; government, private sector players, SNDBX experts, financiers and others within the ecosystem.
The Big Baraza hopes to carve out a place in the Kenyan calendar as an event that finally puts SMEs on the map, raises their voice and showcases their impact.