The concept of competitive business strategy as applied by exhibition stalls in Nairobi's Central Business District
Small and medium enterprises playa significant role in the growth and development of most developing countries including Kenya. Indeed, the Kenya Government is putting various measures aimed at promoting entrepreneurship as a basis for promoting SMEs which are found in all sectors of the economy. Exhibition stall businesses in Kenya fall within the SME sector. These businesses were a creation of the economic liberalization measures that the governments embarked on in the 1990s. These measures include the creation of a liberal private sector and the rationalization of staff strengths in most government departments. One major result was that a number of those retrenched opted to start businesses with the exhibition stalls that are now popular in Nairobi. This business concept has now spread to other major towns including Mombasa. Kisumu, Eldoret and Nakuru. This study examined some of the business strategies which the business stalls use to survive given the high level of competition and the small scale of operations as well as numerous operational problems facing SMEs. The findings indicate that some of the most commonly applied strategies include various forms of initiatives which include providing goods at affordable prices, maintaining costs at the lowest level and ensuring high standards of customer service in order to improve patronage. To a large extent these measures have contributed to growth and spread of the exhibition stall businesses in Kenya. As a result of this, some of the established shops have closed down to create room for more stalls. This is a-sign that the strategies are yielding positive business results.