Supporting AAA Members through AAA Activities
Every end of each year AAA through Business Clubs carries out need assessment to its members. This helps AAA to identify key need areas for its members and find solutions to these needs.
In this year, each Chapter, Business Club and Sector Desks had a work plan to which they were to implement the activities. Kenya chapter hosted a number of these activities which has been of great benefit to its members. These included member to member support by bringing together successful entrepreneurs who wish to make that next step in growing their businesses, business deals were made and member to member coaching.
Trade Fairs and Agricultural shows are important to any Agribusiness SMEs and AAA recognizes this importance. AAA participated in the Nakuru National Show where AAA members exhibited their products under AAA stand. Members also got an opportunity to participate and exhibit during the East Africa Grain Council (EAGC) Agribusiness Expo which was held at Kabarak University. During the EAGC Agribusiness Expo AAA partnered with EAGC to host Agribusiness symposium where Kenya chapter Country Chair made a presentation on Agribusiness Financing.
AAA members are required to actively participate in and belong to one of the business clubs of the Country Chapter. Here they meet on a monthly basis, meet other AAA Members, link, Learn, support and make business deals. A total of 11 Business Clubs, 5 B2B had taken place with trainings on regional trade, innovation and entrepreneurship, taxation, Financial Management systems, Business plan writing, Marketing and branding, and standardization. In addition, two BCs were created from existing ones i.e. Eastern BC was divided into two i.e. Lower & Upper Eastern Business Clubs. This makes the number of Business clubs to be five (Upper Eastern, Lower Eastern, Rift, Nairobi, and Coast BCs).
Africa still experiences insufficient SME entrepreneurial capacities in the Agrifood sector to enhance the crucial link between farmers and markets, both in terms of providing inputs and services, as well as sourcing outputs. The key in this is the current lack of genuine member based SME branch organizations, experience based learning and knowledge materials (rather than classroom material) and tailored business development (BD) coaching approaches. The direct target group which consists of SMEs covering a wide range of sectors is realizing that AAA is a legitimate member based organization and this is evident with the recent new members’ approvals which were done by the Kenya Chapter. The chapter has grown from 76 members by end of Quarter two to the current membership of 106 members.
It is said that ‘If you want to walk fast, walk alone but if you want to walk far Walk as a team’. AAA has been mapping key partners especially now in the wake of scaling our services to more entrepreneurs. AAA Kenya has engaged on a number of partnerships with different Organizations such as F.A.O, EAGC, Global Communities, USAID, and Dutch Embassy in Kenya. AAA is to sign an MOU with Global communities in order to support SMEs access finance and market linkages.
One of the core activities of the academy is to create and share practical knowledge; develop business cases, identify critical success factors, document best practices and make these learning tools available to the members of AAA. To boost these activities, the Communication Team comprising of AAA Director, Communication Manager, CDI consultant and App developer met in Nairobi in the month of September to discuss the development and rolling out of AAA app which will be used as a tool for communication between member to member, AAA to member, and member to AAA. The app should be functional as soon as it is approved by AAA Pan Africa board.