Empowering Kenyan SMEs: NBK Launches ‘National Business Forum’

The National Bank of Kenya (NBK), in partnership with The Leadership Group and Ashitiva LLP, unveils a game-changing initiative called the “National Business Forum” to bolster the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya. This dynamic program—based on membership—is poised for action; it will equip local entrepreneurs with essential tools and resources to catalyze sustainable business expansion.

The National Business Forum pursues a core objective: empowering business leaders throughout Kenya to sustainably grow their organizations. They will accomplish this empowerment through an intricate approach that includes capacity building; it provides access–notably, to an extensive network of experienced business leaders—and supplies crucial financial resources necessary for catalytic transformative change within these enterprises.

This strategic partnership empowers NBK to provide access to financing and financial advisory services; concurrently, Ashitiva LLP enhances the effort with its offering of business and legal advisory services. The Leadership Group takes an active role in delivering tailor-made training programs for SMEs’ unique needs–a significant contribution towards their growth and development. To address the common obstacles that frequently impede businesses’ ascent to higher levels of sustainable success, we collectively aim.

George Odhiambo, Managing Director of NBK, emphasized the bank’s steadfast dedication to promoting SMEs and nurturing Kenya’s thriving entrepreneurial spirit during the official launch of National Business Forum. He underscored that establishing this forum represents a significant milestone in their mission; it aligns with an overarching objective – propelling economic growth and development within Kenya.

The National Business Forum: a significant milestone in our mission to empower Kenyan entrepreneurs,” George Odhiambo declares. He elaborates, “We grasp the unique challenges these industrious individuals face—securing financing and expanding their businesses; therefore, we aim not only towards understanding but providing concrete support that is essential for overcoming such obstacles– ultimately unleashing their full potential.”

The National Business Forum distinguishes itself through the adoption of a meticulous Leadership and Business Acumen Development Model, designed to furnish SMEs with crucial resources for fostering resilience and guaranteeing sustainable growth. This model integrates mentorship, capacity building; leadership development – it also incorporates strategies aimed at facilitating business expansion. We aim ultimately to empower SMEs: within the next five years, our goal is their business expansion on a tenfold scale.

Additionally, Mr. Odhiambo underlined the initiative’s collaborative nature: “We have worked hand-in-hand with our partners to co-create the National Business Forum—a dynamic platform designed specifically for ambitious entrepreneurs.” This forum dovetails perfectly with NBK’s strategy; it aims to generate employment opportunities targeting youth demographic. We harbor profound optimism: that we will draw in development partners who share our vision of business support through capacity building, funding and strategic deal structuring. “We can catalyze entrepreneurial success and foster economic growth together.”

Poised to kickstart its mission, the National Business Forum plans strategic partnerships with 100 businesses from diverse sectors: Renewable Energy; Water; Education; Agribusiness – including Agriculture and Healthcare – Technology, and Women in Business. This endeavor positions NBForum as a beacon of hope for Kenyan SMEs—propelling them into a future defined by sustainable growth and prosperity.


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