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Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) and County Business Development Centers
The Economic Empowerment Program was launched in March 2013 with the objective of (i) enhancing and mainstreaming inclusiveness of the spoor and vulnerable in institutional and policy frameworks and promoting private sector participation in job-rich and pro-poor growth; and (ii) empowering the poor and vulnerable as economic agents. EEP, which is fully aligned to the goals, set by the Government of Kenya in
the Second Medium Term Plan (MTP II) 2013-2017 and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), has special focus on youth and women.
EEP aims at supporting the GoK in achieving its MTP II priorities relating to inclusive and equitable growth. The main implementing partner is the Ministry of Devolution and Planning; other key government partners include the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and other State corporations like the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA), Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE), the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) among others.
The flagship initiative for EEP is the County Business Development Centres also known as the County Biashara Centres. The county Biashara Centres are a key tool for implementing the Economic Empowerment Program both at the macro level through advocacy and dissemination of information and at the micro level through support for SMEs, economically excluded and vulnerable groups, through the implementation of the African Agribusiness Supplier Development Programme (AASDP) initiative.
The key objective of establishing the County Biashara Centres is to promote inclusive economic growth and job creation at the County level through empowering SMEs, small holder farmers, youth, women and people living with disabilities to access and leverage local economic opportunities. The County Biashara Centres will compliment actions taken under the EEP at the policy level to promote policies and frameworks conducive for inclusive economic growth and empowerment of economically excluded groups.
The key target beneficiaries are established SMEs, aspiring entrepreneurs and SME associations and/or smallholder farming communities with specific focus on youth and women. Other beneficiaries include medium sized and large enterprises engaged in inclusive business approaches or value chain development programs driving backward-forward market linkages, local business development service providers and financial institutions.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has partnered with Kwale County Government and Taita Taveta County Government and established the Kwale County Biashara Centre in Mvindeni and the Taita Taveta County Biashara Centre in Voi, as a Public-Private Partnership structure to enhance county level capabilities.
The Export Promotion Council (EPC) is currently collaborating with Taita Taveta County and Kwale County Trade Departments to explore opportunities of working together to reach more SMEs for capacity building in export trade through the County Biashara Centres. 
 
 
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