The significance of the MSE sector in Kenya is evident in its contribution towards economic growth, employment creation, poverty reduction and development of an industrial base. This is more evident at the county Level in the rural countryside where majority of MSE’s operating. Over the last decade for example, employment in the formal sector, both Public and Private has experienced minimal growth, while on the contrary, employment in the MSE Sector has shown phenomenal increase.
According to economic surveys of 2003 and 2011, the number of persons employed in the MSE Sector increased from 5.1Million in 2003 to 8.7 Million in 2010 which translates to about 500,000 jobs annually.
The functions of the Authority are:-
a) Formulate and review policies and programs, for micro and small enterprises;
b) Monitor and evaluate the implementation of existing policies and programmes related to or affecting, micro and small enterprises and advise the Government on appropriate policies and course of action to be taken.
c) Coordinate, harmonize and facilitate the integration of various public and private sector activities, programmes and development plans relating to micro and small enterprises;
d) Promote and facilitate research, product development and patenting in the micro and small enterprises sector;
e) Promote the mainstreaming of youth, gender and persons with disabilities in all micro and small enterprises activities and programs;
f) Mobilize resources for the development of micro and small enterprise sector; Build Jua Kali sheds.
g) Promote access to markets by micro and small enterprises;
h) Promote innovation and development of products by micro and small enterprises;
i) Formulate capacity building programmes for micro and small enterprises;
j) Develop mechanisms, tools and programmes for collection of comprehensive data disaggregated by sex, region and age among others, in collaboration with key stakeholders, to enable proper planning for the, micro and small enterprises sector.
Powers of the Authority
The Authority shall have all powers necessary for the proper performance of its functions under this Act and particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the Authority shall have power to-
a) Enter into contracts;
b) Manage, control and administer the assets of the Authority in such manner and for such purpose as best promote the purpose for which the Authority is established;
c) Determine the provisions to be made for capital and recurrent expenditure and for the reserves of the Authority;
d) Receive any grants, donations or endowments and make legitimate disbursements there from;
e) Enter into association with such other bodies or organizations within or outside Kenya as it may consider desirable or appropriate and in furtherance of the purposes for which the Authority is established;
f) Open such banking accounts for its funds as may be necessary;
g) Invest any funds of the Authority not immediately required for its purposes;
h) Offer services to any person upon such terms as the Authority may from time to time determine;
i) Undertake any activity necessary for the fulfillment of any of its functions.