Barclays Kenya customers are visiting the UK this week as part of a business support programme.
Participants include around 140 entrepreneurs and small businesses from the construction, heavy commercial vehicles and security sectors, who will network and learn more about international trading opportunities.
The visit is organised in conjunction with the UK Trade & Investment section at the British High Commission in Kenya.
It is part of the Barclays Kenya’s Business Club programme, which offers local businesses the opportunity to attend international trade fairs, network with companies around the world, and participate in seminars on issues such as tax management, investments and financial planning.
Louise De Sousa, British Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya, encouraged local businesses to take advantage of the international trading opportunities.
At the send-off ceremony for companies participating in the UK trade mission, Louise said: “Britain is open for business with Kenya.”
She added: “I wish to commend Barclays for choosing to work with the British High Commission’s UK Trade & Investment section in facilitating these networking forums which will go a long way in adding value to the SME customer segment, and are key in accelerating Kenya’s economic development as well as building on the strong trade relations between the UK and Kenya.”
Adan Mohamed, Barclays Regional Managing Director, said: “This particular trip offers our Kenyan traders who represent the security, heavy commercial vehicles and construction sectors an opportunity to network, purchase and make valuable business contacts.
“Many of the enterprises represented here were constrained mainly by limited access to markets and financing.
“But through our Business Club, Barclays is making a long-term impact for small business and for Kenya.”
Members of Barclays Kenya’s Business Club will also participate in trade missions to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in September, as well as to Japan and India in December.
Since the launch of the Business Club, Barclays has supported more than 2,000 members by organising visits to more than 10 countries, including the US, Japan, China, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, India and Thailand.
These customers have transacted businesses worth more than KES3bn (approximately £21m at current exchange rates).
In 2010, approximately 250 members of the Business Club participated in six trips, attending international trade fairs to source stock for their companies.