Kenyan SME’s flourish as e-commerce spikes

February 6, 2017 • East Africa, Online & Social, Retail, Top Stories

Online retailer Jumia Kenya has announced that 80 percent of the products on their platform are from accredited small businesses. Although Jumia has not released the actual number of merchants on the platform, they revealed that the number of SME’s using the platform grew by 45 percent in 2016.

 Jumia managing director Sam Chappatte (left) Ann Kirima, Chair of the Kenya Investment Authority.

Jumia managing director Sam Chappatte (left) Ann Kirima, Chair of the Kenya Investment Authority.

Sam Chappatte, Managing Director of Jumia attributes the growth to Jumia opening up its platform to vendors in new categories (like Beauty) and retailers rushing to join the platform ahead of Black Friday.

“We have seen a spike in the number of merchants joining our platform in recent months. This is great news for customers, as it means more choice of products and will lead to better prices. It also proves that our platform offers a great money making opportunity for professional, ambitious vendors of all sizes” added Sam

Harrison Kiarie, Managing Director of Unique Collections, one of the many vendors selling on Jumia, was employed at a local firm in 2016 while selling products on Jumia alongside his full time job. He soon realized that his Jumia sales were earning him more money than his job and thus quit to focus on building his virtual shop on Jumia.

“In just six months selling on the site, my business grew in leaps and I quit my job to focus on selling. Jumia has enabled me to create a new sales channel of revenue that wouldn’t have been possible any other way,” Harrison said. He has since hired 6 people to work for him.

Kenyan customers spend more than 10B KES on online shopping platforms in 2016, according to global marketing firm AC Nielsen (up from 2.4B KES in 2014 according to the Communications Authority of Kenya), e-commerce has become an integral part of the economy.

This was reiterated by Anne Kirima, Chair of the Kenya Investment Authority:“By helping small businesses grow and creating employment for thousands of Kenyans, e-commerce contributes immensely to Kenya’s economy. The fact that sellers can sell from the comfort of their homes without opening expensive stores is pretty impressive.”

The e-tailer launched a project to help small businesses grow even further. #GrowWithJumia was launched with the objective to educate small business owners and equip them with technological knowledge to sell online. The SME’s will be offered weekly payment terms and expected to pay 1% commission on their sales for a 3 month incubation period.

Interested small business owners can sign up via

Staff Writer



Comments are closed.

« »