Challenges to the internationalization of Kenyan small and medium enterprises
Ekai, Emmanuel E
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The Kenyan business environment had been undergoing drastic changes since the onset of liberalization in the early 1990's. Some of the changes included the accelerated implementation of economic reforms, the liberalization of the economy, privatization and increased competition. With globalization and Kenya joining regional trading blocs such as EAC and COMESA coupled with the opening up of the Southern Sudan region, opportunities for these SMEs to extend their business tentacles has increased like never before but they face massive challenges in their quest to internationalization. The objective of this study was to investigate the challenges to the internationalization of Kenyan small and medium enterprises operating in Nairobi. The study used primary data. The data collection tool was questionnaires that had both closed and open ended questions. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics with assistance of statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). Output was then presented in terms of pie charts, graphs, frequency tables and reports. Key findings from the study were: digital divide, educational, purchasing power difference between Kenya and the importing country, Government policies in such areas, security, language, education, and technical infrastructure, currencies and clearing system as well as banking and financial networks intellectual property e.g. copyright laws, regulatory and commerce infrastructure in the importing country and Kenya's membership to regional trading blocs and country's culture when dealing in international trade, level of competition in the sector, financial capital necessary to become competitive, capital, training, and research and development accessibility, importation barriers, structure and culture of the organization are all the factors affecting internationalization of Kenyan SME.
University of Nairobi, Kenya