Kenyan telco Safaricom and carrier British Airways have partnered to boost Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) by offering them access to international markets or a chance to source their supplies at the most affordable rates.
Dubbed Emerging Enterprise Initiative, it will complement the airline’s already existing On Business programme which offers travel savings to SMEs based on their loyalty as well as cash discounts on selected flights and bonuses.
Firms of up to 50 employees have been asked to submit applications and win British Airways sponsored club class air trips to London and airtime worth Sh500,000 from Safaricom.
SME owners, including start-ups, are required to submit essays detailing how their businesses would benefit from a trip to any of the 114 destinations where the airline flies to around the world.
The applications will be judged and the best five will have an opportunity to fulfil their aspirations of traveling to the business destination of their choice.
“A club class ticket on a normal day costs $3,000 and they will be getting this free of charge. In addition, each of the chosen SME’s will get Sh100,000 airtime from Safaricom to help meet their business communication needs,” said George Mawadri, British Airways commercial manager for East and Central Africa.
Mr Mawadri said that to be eligible, participants should be registered on the British Airways On Business programme and companies can submit the Emerging Enterprises entries online on their website.
Safaricom’s Head of SME and Channels Arjun Singh Dhillon said that start-ups are the fastest growing companies within SMEs and they have identified their needs hence the move to help them grow.
He said that they already have 115,000 SMEs registered on Safaricom’s Zidisha Biashara service (another requirement for participating companies).
“This initiative will empower our SMEs to get to the next level by affording them much needed exposure and ability to communicate through affordable voice and data services. Technology has localised the global market and it is necessary for service providers to form strategic partnerships to ensure customers transact business in the most timely and cost effective way,” he said.
SOURCE: THE EAST AFRICAN