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Kenya: 11,000 Small Businesses Get Access to Web Link

More than 11,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have benefited from an initiative by Google, Equity Bank and Safaricom to create own websites at no fee.

Designing a simple website costs between Sh15, 000 and Sh20, 000 excluding the cost of managing it. But under the initiative, the enterprises have access to a template for free and customised for their use.

Dubbed 'Getting Kenya Businesses Online', the initiative is expected to transform the Kenyan SME landscape, a sector expected to become a key driver for growth by making it quick, easy and free for businesses to register online presence at a time the Internet traffic is getting busier every year.

"The response shows enthusiasm the local businesses have to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Internet," said Olga Arara-Kimani, the Google Kenya country manager.

She said the power of the Internet will help the SMEs to grow their businesses and give them access to the global village. The initiative has attracted new partners such as Barclays Bank, who see the platform as the right avenue of widening the SMEs' portfolio.

Njambi Kiritu from Impact by Design is among the many business people that benefited from the initiative. "The Kenyan public is already online, searching for information. Information about my business is now readily available to them on www.impact-by-design.com. I have reached over 90 new customers and increased revenue tenfold since 2008."

She says the easy access to the tools made it easy for her to set up a website and reduce the number of trips she makes in search of clients.

Source: Business Daily (Nairobi)

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