The Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) has announced that it will provide 200, 000 women across 47 counties in Kenya with entrepreneurship training and access to capital investment by the end of the year.
This was announced by WEF CEO Engineer Charles Mwirigi, during the commissioning of 36 new trainers. The group has successfully completed a weeklong training of trainers program and will be deployed across the country as a scale up to the current 290 trainers that will help the Fund achieve its set target before the year ends.
The training is part of a joint economic empowerment program between WEF and Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa Ltd’s 5by20 initiative. From Coca-Cola’s perspective, women form a central pillar of its sustainability agenda which is linked to their 5by20 effort to economically empower five million women globally by 2020. In Kenya, the partnership targets to empower one million women. The program is rooted in the two institutions’ shared interest in creating a conducive environment that enables women to build sustainable businesses.
In 2019, 161,415 women benefitted from the training, bringing the total number of beneficiaries supported through this partnership that was established in 2014 to 718,550. The program aims to address and remove barriers that women may experience in creating economic opportunities. Participants receive business skills training, access to financial services and business club mentoring.
“Entrepreneurship training helps sustain businesses especially in the SME sector where 80 percent of them do not survive beyond three years. It is our priority, therefore, to reduce this through capital and knowledge investment,” said WEF Head of SME Training Collins Okoth.
According to Homabay County Trainer, Jaspers Gadafi, the ongoing training of trainers’ workshop helps equip them with knowledge plus skills to help women make informed decisions besides realizing their self-worth.
During the one week training, the 36 trainers, the majority being youths under the age of 30 were equipped with techniques and methodologies for conducting an effective training, particularly for adult learners, on the policy and structures of WEF, and a practical appreciation of the WEF manual which covers record-keeping skills, marketing and promotion of businesses, financial literacy, business plan development among other skills.
“When you empower a woman you empower a nation, I believe this training will help me endow women from my county who heavily rely on agriculture to maximize their potential,” said Kericho County Trainer Tabitha Chepchirchir.
Since its inception, WEF has been able to train up to 1,319,660 million women to run successful businesses and disbursed in excess of Ksh 17 billion in loans to women-run enterprises.