According to the head of the East African Business Council, Faustin Mbundu, East Africa's small businesses are doing well but there is more they can do to lift living standards in the region. In East Africa, SMEs account for about 60% of all employment, and they contribute up to 30% of GDP. However, Mbundu says that a goal should be to reach the levels of small business activity seen in India, where SMEs account for up to 70% of GDP.
SMEs in Africa face a number of challenges, including limited access to markets due to lack of market intelligence or infrastructure, and lack of business and management skills. Mbundu believes that government should play a role in strengthening small business. His suggestion is that government should simplify the prerequisites for SME access to finance, and provide consultants to help business associations and cooperatives to manage their money and promote good corporate governance.