Staff from Epsilon Publishers Limited were part of the incubation lab that was the second phase of the Siemens project. The project was aimed at maintaining continuity on an existing path towards Anti-corruption Collective Action (ACCA); providing context for the proposed ACCA; building the case for the potential funders and providing detailed project plan; and, maintaining energy and synergy throughout the project implementation period.
From the proposed tasks, the team worked on the second track that was raising standards of SMEs in terms of compliance by developing an SME toolkit inspired by ISO 37001 to comply with the Bribery Act. The toolkit will go a long way in helping SMEs practically implement the code of ethics for business operations.
The team analysed variables around the agenda such as the threats to the implementation of the project, the strengths SMEs have, weaknesses experienced in the sector and opportunities SMEs can tap in the implementation process.
Further, the team put together all these variables with mitigation principles for the threats and weaknesses. All this would be substantial in the development of the SME toolkit.
In the long run, this will increase transparency in operations and processes; reduce the cost of operating businesses in Kenya; level the playing field for SMEs, large corporates and government parastatals; create trust and credibility among businesses and institutions; and, enable businesses to pursue long term government incentive initiatives such as tax incentives for compliant businesses.