What is the MSE Act 2012?

The Micro and Small Enterprise Act (2012) is a law that was passed by Parliament in 2012 establishing rules and institutions to support micro and small business in Kenya.

What is an MSE?

MSE stands for Micro and Small Enterprise. A Micro Enterprise is a business with a sales turnover of less than Kshs.500, 000 a year, or has 1-9 people working in it. A Small Enterprise is a business that has sales of between Kshs.1, 000,000 and Kshs.5, 000,000 in a year, or has 10-50 people working it.

These two types of enterprises are usually put in one group called micro and small Enterprises, or MSEs. The reason for this is that they face similar opportunities and challenges, especially when compared with bigger businesses. The Act divides the MSE sector into four categories.

Is your business a micro or small enterprise? If it is an MSE, then the MSE Act 2012 is for you. Learn how to use it to grow your business

What are MSE associations and Umbrella Organization

Association: is a registered group of not less than 35 micro enterprises from any of the four sectors. Once registered with the Registrar of MSEs, an MSE association can access common services and raise resources to develop their members' enterprise.

Umbrella Organization: is a registered organization that brings together different associations of MSEs under one roof so that they can have a single powerful voice for their common interests, and provide better services to their members.

How does the MSE Act reorganize the Sector?

The Act establishes three (3) key institutions which ensure order and organization of the MSE sector. They are:

a) The Registrar of MSEs.

b) The MSE Authority.

c) The MSE Tribunal.

How do l register?

To register an MSE  Association or Umbrella Organization, one must follow procedures set out by the Registrar. For more information contact the office of the MSE Registrar.

Who can access the MSE Fund and how?

The following can apply for funds as set out by the MSE Authority from the MSE Fund:

i) MSE Associations and umbrella organizations by way of loan, factoring (buying invoices at a discount and taking the responsibility of collecting the payment due to them), guarantee and micro-insurance for the benefit of their members.

 ii) Community Based Organizations, non-governmental organizations or any institution involved in the promotion and development of MSE sector activities and programs.

How do I access the MSE fund?

To access the MSE Fund, a micro enterprise must follow the rules and procedures set out by the MSE Authority For more information contact the MSE Authority.

NOTE: As part of its running of the MSE Fund, the MSE Authority shall prepare, sign and deliver to the Auditor-General a Statement of Accounts on the MSE Fund, showing how money was spent in each financial year, and any other details, as Treasury may direct.

 How can I take my case to the MSE Tribunal?

For the MSE Tribunal to take up a matter, the party or person that feels they have been treated unfairly shall apply to it in writing. A matter relating to this MSE Act can also be referred to the MSE Tribunal by the MSE Authority. After they receive the matter, the MSE Tribunal shall investigate the matter and determine an award, give directions, give orders, or make decisions, and notify the concerned parties. The MSE Tribunal shall sit at such times and in such places as it may appoint. The proceedings of the MSE Tribunal shall be open to the public except where, for good reasons, the MSE Tribunal directs otherwise. Where the MSE Tribunal with costs, it shall issue a decree inclusive of penalties for non-compliance, which shall be enforceable as a decree of a law court in Kenya.

How does the Mse Act apply to me?

For any micro and small enterprise to be recognized by this Act, it has to be registered with the MSE Registrar. The enterprise is presumed to have a physical location from where it operates. The MSE Act lays out the process the MSE fund.

 How do I solve a dispute?

All disputes should be referred to the MSE Tribunal established by the MSE Authority, for more information on where to find the MSE Tribunal contact the MSE Authority.

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About Us

The Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA) is a new state corporation established under the Micro and Small Enterprise Act No. 55 of 2012. The Act was developed through a stakeholder’s consultation process which took several years. The Authority is now domiciled in the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development.


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  • Website: www.mseauthority.go.ke
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