Government Launches Digital Skills Partnership With Stanbic Bank And Microsoft

1. The CS Ministry of Industry,Trade and Enterprise Development Betty Maina

2. PS Trade Amb. Johnson Weru

3. Microsoft Country Manager Kendi Ntwiga-Nderitu

4. Stanbic CEO Charles Mudiwa

5. Group photo during the partnering for growth ceremony.



The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt beyond the health sector as the economy has taken a big hit and, in some cases, paralysed both social and business activities leading to job losses and pay cuts worldwide. The Digital learning and Skills initiative by Microsoft in partnership with Stanbic Kenya Foundation and the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development is key in addressing one of the biggest challenges facing society in the COVID-19 pandemic. By increasing the society’s employability, Stanbic Bank and its partners will be promoting growth and economic empowerment. 

The program targets Jobseekers that have been impacted by Covid-19, unemployed individuals, individuals pursuing career changes and current job holders who want to upskill their digital skills. The Digital learning platform also affords the Kenyan community an opportunity to get training on Entrepreneurial skills and soft skills amongst many other courses.

•    Support the Kenyan Governments efforts of promoting digital technologies and ICT as a way of creating employment opportunities and improving on public service delivery.
•    Enhance and build the capacity of Government entities on digital skills to enable them to support the public.
•    Drive for adoption/ consumption of the Digital skill through the digital training portal.
•    To showcase lives that have been transformed through the initiative.


About the Global Skills Initiative 
What is the Global Skills Initiative programme?
The Global Skills Initiative is a programme aimed at bringing more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide. Stanbic Bank in partnership with Microsoft and Ministry of Industrialization Trade & Enterprise Development have committed to closing the skills gap for decades, but now is the time to accelerate efforts and build partnerships that help job seekers worldwide reskill and rejoin a more digital economy. The partnership aims to ensure people who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic have the skills they need to pursue the jobs of today and tomorrow.  It also addresses job seekers and entrepreneurs who are looking to learn new skills to improve their businesses or create new businesses powered digitally.

Why Digital skills, why now?
COVID-19 has created a global economic crisis, forcing tens of millions of people around the world out of work. Some of the jobs lost will not come back, or at least not fast enough to meet demand. Those that do come back will look different, requiring more digital skills as companies race to change the way they work to respond to and recover from the pandemic. Other jobs will become more “tech-enabled,” requiring job seekers to have some level of digital fluency to be able to successfully pursue them. 
In the post-COVID world, all people–especially those from the hardest hit industries and the most vulnerable communities–will need to learn new skills to rejoin the workforce prepared for technical and tech-enabled roles that will be in even greater demand going forward. 
That’s why Microsoft has committed to help 25 million people worldwide who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and want to reskill for in-demand roles.

What role does Stanbic Bank play in the partnership?
Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited, is a financial services provider headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. The bank is licensed as a commercial bank by the Central Bank of Kenya and has countrywide through physical and digital platforms. The Stanbic Bank Foundation, a limited by Guarantee Company, acts as the institutional home for Stanbic Bank’s social initiatives and interventions, and as part of the Bank’s social corporate responsibility the Foundation reached out to the Ministry with a view of establishing a partnership aimed at supporting the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) Sector in Kenya.

The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprises Development (MOITED) 
The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprises Development (MOITED) will continue to promote the development of the Industrial and Trade Sub-sectors in Kenya.  Specifically, the Ministry’s mandate is to; implement Industrial, Trade and Enterprise Policies, promote and develop Micro and Small Enterprises, promote and facilitate Domestic and Foreign Investments, promote the development of Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks, promote value addition and agro-processing and enhance market access for Kenyan exports, facilitating and enhancing the ease of doing business in Kenya and enforce the Local Content Policy.

What does the Programme entail?

1.    Learn skills for in-demand jobs
Get free access to learning content across LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and GitHub, ranging from entry-level digital literacy skills to advanced skills for technical roles. , LinkedIn Learning will share a free library of high-quality learning paths to help one learn the skills for in-demand roles like Digital Marketer, Project Manager, Data Analyst, and Software Developer. Microsoft Learn—an online platform to help one learn Microsoft products—will continue its free access now and in the future to interactive, self-paced content to help one advance their technical skills while preparing for role-based Microsoft certifications. Finally, GitHub Learning Lab will continue providing its hands-on learning experiences for free so one can grow your technical skills by practicing on fun, realistic projects.

2.    Earn a certification to show you have the needed skills
One will also have the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized Microsoft Certification at a reduced-cost, which shows employers that one has the skills required for roles such as Software Developer, Data Analyst, and IT Administrator. These roles are in high demand today, and—with increased digital transformation in the post-COVID economy—that demand is likely to grow even more.

3.    Get ready to get hired
Microsoft and LinkedIn are bringing together resources to help one prepare for a successful job search. With access to LinkedIn job search tools and free courses1, one can gain the confidence and know-how one needs to translate their new digital skills into opportunity.

LinkedIn Learning will offer free learning paths to help you find a job during challenging economic times, master in-demand professional soft skills, learn to use virtual collaboration tools, and foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

One can also get virtual interview feedback powered by Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) to help you practice and prepare for interviews. And, later this year, get connected to industry mentors from Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub.

What is the current situation for businesses?
The MSMEs contribute 98% of all business in Kenya, create 30% of jobs, contribute 34 % to GDP and there are 7.4 million MSMEs operating in Kenya. The MSMEs face numerous challenges which include limited managerial capacity, skill gaps, low entrepreneurial culture, and limited access to business information. There are also limited service providers for capacity building for MSMEs. This has led to a high mortality rate and most are closed within 5 years. Only a few graduate to medium enterprises creating the problem referred to as missing middle. Recently, MSMEs have severely been affected by the impact of COVID-19 due to their vulnerability to disruptions in the supply chain and reduction of demand. Therefore, there is a need to offer capacity building in business recovery knowledge and resilience as well as market access to stabilize and rebuild their enterprises. 
There is a great need to capacity build MSMEs through training, coaching, and mentorship to enhance their survival rate, growth to large enterprises and to be more competitive. There is a great need for technical and soft skills development. 
Target market for the capacity building trainings?

The capacity building will apply to various types of business operators, including start-ups; ongoing or expanding businesses; production or service firms; micro, small, medium, or large corporations; sole proprietorships; partnerships; joint-stock companies; and locally, nationally or internationally active companies; in the various sectors. The capacity building will cover, but not be limited, to enhancing business skills and entrepreneurship development, business records, business plans, financial management, sources of finance and market survey as well as compliance to best-practice standards for internal capacity and regulatory requirements. The training will also focus on women and youth. 

What is the main objective of the program here in Kenya?

The main objective of the program is to build the capacity of MSMEs for sustainable development and the ability to compete effectively in a liberalized economy despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sessions will be undertaken through Virtual, Physical and business Training & information Seminars & Webinars. The specific objective will be to equip the participants with the skills and knowledge to analyze the business environment and the ability to: 
i.    Effectively manage and operate their businesses profitably 
ii.    Manage unique expectations of development financing and enterprise development 
iii.    Prepare various business documents such as business records and bankable business plans 
iv.    Manage business operations such as bookkeeping, financial and business management 
v.    Manage e-business and overcome Covid-19 pandemic challenges.

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