Business highlights – SMEs engaged in furniture-making and construction set to benefit from fall in paint prices

SMEs engaged in furniture-making and construction to benefit from fall in paint prices

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) engaged in furniture-making and construction are likely to benefit from a drop in paint prices
  • This is due to the proposed introduction of refunds on excise duty paid on imported illuminating kerosene, a key ingredient in paints and resin manufacturing
  • Rakesh Rao, CEO of listed manufacturing firm, Crown Paints said that if passed, the amendment will help the company offer competitive prices to consumers in the Kenyan market

Rao believes the move will enable the growth of small scale furniture making industries. Crown Paints, which last year opened its refurbished and expanded Kisumu plant, said its customers in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda will also benefit.

Mr Rao said the firm would fast-track regional expansion plans by investing in new plants in the region.

READ ALSO: Finance Bill 2016 to lower cost of living, promote use of clean energy

He said money saved from their 2.4 million litre annual consumption of paraffin would be spent on research and product development.

New investment guidelines will ensure government projects benefit local communities, regulator says

  • The Kenya Investment Authority will soon be able to ensure that government investments benefit local communities using a new raft of sectoral guidelines
  • The country is set to begin a review of incentives once every two years when new measures from the Kenya Investment Policy become operational
  • Following the review, the government may choose to discontinue incentives which it feels are not meeting stated development objectives, Kenya Investment Authority Managing Director Moses Ikiara has said

Ikiara was speaking during a meeting with investors, private sector support agencies, public sector institutions and development partners to deliberate on the draft of the Kenya Investment Policy on Monday, April 3, 2017.

The policy is meant to guide attraction, facilitation, retention, monitoring and evaluation of private investments in the country.


A woman sells fish at her local market. The Authority hopes to increase the level of private investment to 24% of GDP by 2030 and elevate the country’s standing the ease of doing business index to top 50 and attaining a distance to frontier score of 80.

Ikiara said the policy will streamline investments in the country as well as create a seamless coordination between the National and County Governments.

READ ALSO: Treasury boss raises concerns over banks refusing to give loans to SMEs and low income borrowers

It will also address the critical issues of local content, minimum capital for foreign investors, host community- investor issues and an effective institutional architecture, among other important issues.

Global Youth Empowerment Fund offers innovators Ksh517,000 to invest in grassroots community projects

  • The Junior Chamber International (JCI), in partnership with the UN’s SDG Action Campaign, is offering local innovators up to US$5,000 (Ksh517,000) in funding to invest in grassroots community projects
  • JCI is currently accepting proposals for its Global Youth Empowerment Fund, an initiative to empower young people around the world to impact their communities by investing in grassroots, community projects
  • The Fund will offer grants, financing and training to youth-led projects and social enterprises that advance the Global Goals for Sustainable Development in local communities around the world

The Fund will focus on projects that are centred on innovation, projects that have potential for scaling up or replication and projects that possess financial viability. The Fund’s managers said that projects should represent innovative methods to the problem it seeks to address. Innovation may result from the use of new methods, new models, new technologies, or application of old methods, models or technologies in a new, innovative way.

A group of young people working on their computers

The group stated that projects should ideally have the potential to continue beyond the Global Youth Empowerment Fund’s financing.

READ ALSO: Firm launches CSR wing to equip underprivileged youth with technical and business skills

The Fund has stated that all projects must be run by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and non-profit private bodies whose activities contribute to the promotion of sustainable development and youth leadership.


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