DotConnectAfrica (DCA) recently hosted an online session to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on SME financing in Africa. The virtual session, held in June 16, 2020, focused on identifying key building blocks, opportunities, and challenges such as access to finance, technology, business formation, business environment and infrastructure.
During the web forum, the panelists discussed, among other issues: the real effects on the ground for SMEs; the plans that are being implemented to curb further negative effects on the market; future strategies that organizations can rely on to remain resilient and afloat; opportunities and methods of enabling new growth; and predictions of the paradigm shifts for SME financing.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had and is predicted to have a strong effect on labour markets worldwide and in particular, Africa, where more than 70% of the workforce is in self-employment or works in micro, and small enterprises (SMEs). This will also disrupt many existing value chains that most likely would, in turn, lead to loss of income and sharp increases in unemployment.
In addition, most of the SMEs especially in the developing countries are often run by women, operate in saturated sectors in the informal economy and most lack social protection. SMEs will, therefore, be the first to suffer devastating consequences of the economic downturn. Re-starting the economy and creating jobs will be key once the immediate health crisis is over.
The session featured insights from top industry and business leaders and representatives of SMEs operating in African countries, sharing lessons and reflections, as businesses and individuals globally seek solutions for the Covid-19 crisis to innovative ways to achieve their goals.
The WebForum was chaired and moderated by Sophia Bekele, the CEO and founder DCA, who is known for her work in rebranding Africa on the internet and women empowerment on the tech space. The panel of speakers included: Michael Monari, the founder and CEO, Longitude Finance – Kenya; John Kuria Kariuki, Group CEO and founder at FinCredit Limited, and a Board member the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Kenya (AMFI); Pamela M. Njuguna, Head of Business and Marketing, Credit Bank, named ‘Girl Boss’ by BusinessToday – Kenya; John Ngumi, Executive Director at Eagle Africa Capital Partners, and the current Chairman of Kenya Pipeline Company, Wananchi Group and Director, Kenya Private Sector Alliance; and Erick Yong, the CEO and co-founder of GreenTec Capital Partners, Cameroon and Germany.
The panel exchanged expert insights, practical approaches and good practices on the topic: The real effects on the ground for SMEs..
Watch the Web Forum below:
This was the third Crisis Management Conversation Series of the DCA WebForum.
The DCA WebForum, sponsored by the DCA Digital Academy, is part of a series of sectorial web forums “Crisis Management Conversation devoted to communities DCA serves in Africa. The sessions act as meeting and networking opportunities for executives and business leaders. It is also intended to serve as a platform for critical learning for the community, where ideas, viewpoints and conversations have a space to flourish.
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