How to Grow Your MSME Using the Best BDS Providers

Are you an investor in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)  looking to thrive and grow?  In this blog, learn the best BDS services available in Kenya. We will focus on their key offerings and how they can contribute to the growth of your MSME.

Recent studies indicate a significant percentage of new businesses in Kenya fail at their initial stages.  Factors such as lack of access to finance, limited market opportunities, inadequate business skills, and competition contribute to their high failure rate. As an entrepreneur, it is good for you to seek appropriate support, including business development services (BDS), to increase your chances of success and sustainability. 

How do BDS providers contribute to the growth of MSMEs?

Overall, BDS providers are critical in supporting the growth and development of MSMEs. They contribute to this growth in various ways. They are; technical assistance, market research, training, and mentoring services. Additionally, BDS providers offer access to finance and investment opportunities. These services  will help your MSME to;

  • Improve efficiency for your business operations, 
  • Increase your productivity,
  • Enhance your competitiveness. 
  • Expand your operations 
  • Enter new markets.  

Which BDS providers are available in Kenya?

The majority of BDS Providers in Kenya are specialist consultants. They can support your MSMEs at various stages of business growth from start-up to growth and closure. The table below classifies the specific services you may require such as market access, market linkages and infrastructure.

BDS Provider Specific services
Market Access:Market Research
Market Information
Trade Fairs
Product Exhibitions
Infrastructure:Storage and Warehousing
Transport and Delivery
Business Incubators
Technology Parks
Internet Acces
Computer Access
Secretarial Services
Policy and Advocacy:Training in Policy Advocacy
Analysis of Policy Constraints and Opportunities
Direct Advocacy on behalf of MSMEs and Entrepreneurs
Sponsorship of Conferences
Policy Studies
Input Supply:Linking MSMEs to Input Suppliers
Improving Suppliers’ Capacity to Deliver Quality Inputs
Facilitating the establishment of Bulk Buying Groups
Information on Input Supply Sources
Training and Technical Assistance:Mentoring
Feasibility Studies
Business Plans
Management Training
Advisory Services
Legal Services
Financial and Tax Advice
Accountancy and Bookkeeping
Technical Training
Technology and Product Development:Technology Transfer
Linking MSMEs and Technology Suppliers
Facilitating Technology Procurement
Quality Assurance Programs
Design Services
Alternative Financing Mechanisms:Factoring Companies Providing Capital for Confirmed Orders
Equity Financing
Facilitating Supplier Credit
Equipment Leasing and Rental
Best BDS Providers in Kenya

Market Research and Information

One of the fundamental components of successful business growth is having access to accurate and up-to-date market research and information. Some BDS providers concentrate on market research to help MSMEs, identify their target markets, understand consumer needs, and make informed business decisions. MSMEs can adapt their strategies and improve their market positioning by staying updated on market trends, demand patterns, and competitors.

Infrastructure Support

 Access to reliable infrastructure is crucial for the smooth operation of MSMEs. BDS businesses that provide services such as storage and warehousing, transport and delivery, business incubators, and technology parks contribute to enhancing efficiency and reducing operational costs for MSMEs. These infrastructure support services enable MSMEs to focus on their core activities while accessing cost-effective solutions.

Policy Advocacy and Support

BDS providers engaged in policy advocacy work closely with national and county government agencies, advocating for policies that promote MSME growth and address their concerns. They provide training on policy advocacy, help analyze policy constraints and opportunities, and engage in direct advocacy on behalf of MSMEs and entrepreneurs. Additionally, they sponsor conferences and conduct policy studies to influence policy formulation and create an enabling business environment.

Input Supply and Market Linkages

 Ensuring a stable and quality supply of inputs is vital for the smooth operations of MSMEs. BDS providers involved in input supply services play a crucial role in linking MSMEs with reliable input suppliers. They work to improve suppliers’ capacity to deliver quality inputs, facilitate the establishment of bulk buying groups to leverage economies of scale and provide information on reliable input supply sources. These services contribute to enhancing MSME productivity and reducing input costs.

Training and Technical Assistance

 Comprehensive training and technical assistance are essential for MSMEs to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed. Through mentoring, feasibility studies, business plans, management training, counselling, and advisory services, BDS providers equip MSMEs with the tools to make informed decisions, improve operational efficiency, and sustain growth. Additionally, they offer legal services, financial and tax advice, accountancy, and bookkeeping support, helping MSMEs navigate regulatory and financial challenges.

Technology and Product Development

 Technology plays a crucial role in enhancing MSME productivity and competitiveness. BDS providers that focus on technology transfer and commercialization facilitate the adoption of innovative technologies by linking MSMEs with technology suppliers. They help MSMEs procure technology, develop quality assurance programs, and access design services. These initiatives contribute to product and process improvements, enabling MSMEs to meet market demands effectively.

Alternative Financing Mechanisms

Access to finance remains a significant challenge for many MSMEs. BDS providers involved in alternative financing mechanisms, such as factoring companies, equity financing, and facilitating supplier credit or equipment leasing, bridge the funding gap for MSMEs. These mechanisms provide much-needed capital for business expansion, working capital, and investment in new technologies, enabling MSMEs to unlock growth opportunities.

Trade Fairs and Product Exhibitions

Trade fairs and product exhibitions are a valuable platform for your MSMEs to showcase your products and services, connect with potential buyers, and expand your network. BDS providers that organize and facilitate participation in such events enable you to gain visibility, generate leads, and explore business opportunities. These platforms also foster knowledge exchange and collaboration among industry players.

Advertising and Packaging

Effective advertising and strategic packaging are key aspects of successful brand communication. BDS providers focussing on advertising help MSMEs create compelling marketing campaigns tailored to their target audience. They assist in crafting impactful messaging, selecting appropriate advertising channels (print, digital, radio, etc.), and optimizing marketing budgets. Similarly, BDS providers that offer packaging services ensure that products are attractively presented, enhancing their market appeal.

The BDS landscape in Kenya gives you a wide range of services that support MSMEs at various stages of their growth journey. Whether it is market access, infrastructure support, policy advocacy, input supply, training, technology development, or financing, BDS providers contribute significantly to unlocking opportunities for MSMEs. By using these services, your MSME can overcome your worst challenges, enhance your competitiveness, and contribute to the growth of Kenya

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