Category Archives: Women Funding

SheTrades Commonwealth Launches

The International Trade Center (ITC) has launched a women-economic empowerment program for female entrepreneurs to be able to trade across borders.

“SheTrades” aims to grow one million female entrepreneurs, and is starting with Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Bangladesh, in export-ready fields of apparel (textiles), agriculture (tea, coffee, avocado) and services (ICT, tourism). The program will offer training, capacity building and support to enable women, entrepreneurs to be more competitive, and prepare their companies for export markets such as through obtaining certifications, connecting to buyers and being able to talk they way into deals.

The SheTrades program is based on seven principles of quality data, fair policies, public procurement, striking business deals, enabling market access, unlocking financial services, and securing ownership rights. Kenya is acknowledging for having female supportive laws such as setting aside 30% of government procurement for women, youth and persons with disabilities, though the uptake of this has lagged. It also has some women-focused funding initiatives while Barclays Kenya has a program with ITC  to increase women’s access to international trade opportunities.

SheTrades is funded by the UK’S DFID and the SheTrades Commonwealth Kenya initiative is open to companies that are at least 30% female-owned and female-managed are eligible for sign up on the SheTrades website.

WDR 2017: Governance and the rule of law

WDR2017, the World Development Report from the World Bank for 2017, looks at governance and the rule of law around the world and how they can impact countries and economic development.

Illustrative pic from the Star Newspaper to show what a large sum of cash will look like

some excerpts;

  • Elections alone are not enough to bring change – even when citizens manage to remove politicians whose performance is poor or diverges from their preferences, elections alone offer no credible guarantee that, once elected, new leaders will not shirk their electoral promises and credibly commit to citizens’ demands.
  • Local elites can capture public spending despite participatory programs; as they can disproportionately sway expenditure decisions
  • Inequality begets inequality In societies in which inequality is high as the effectiveness of governance to deliver on equity outcomes can be weakened structurally because those at the top of the income ladder not only have control over a disproportionate amount of wealth and resources, but also have a disproportionate ability to influence the policy process.
  • Devolve: By multiplying the number of more or less autonomous arenas within which public authority is exercised, decentralization increases the opportunities for policy innovations and the emergence of effective leaders. Often these innovations are spurred by political outsiders, who may not have access to the national policy arena but are more likely to acquire citizen support locally and spur local institutional reforms.
  • Female leaders are less prone to patronage politics and corruption.
  • Media content is often defined by elites leading to a bias, but new media can counteract this.
  • Political parties are on average the least-trusted political institution worldwide
  • Politically connected firms gain undue advantage in countries through using market regulations to favor firms, granting import licenses to favored firms, and diverting credit.
  • Land redistribution policies often fail due to transaction costs, incomplete contracts, and political agreements.
  • The Panama Papers highlighted legal and illegal ways in which assets found their way to 40 countries: Funds are legally earned through tax evasion and evading currency controls and shifting profits, but also illegally by exploiting natural resources, violating intellectual property rights, corruption, embezzlement, drug trafficking, and human smuggling etc.

See the 2016 WDR report.

Funding Youth & Women Enterprises In Kenya

Today, it became news that the government would no longer extends funds to youth and women programs. So far, the government has distributed more than Kshs 10 billion (~$10 million) to youths and Kshs 7 billion (~$70 million) to women.

Chase Bank Youth & Women FundsThe ending was not really new as a previous report released by the Central Bank of Kenya in 2015 noted that “the intention was not for the Government to lend, but to create an incentive for banks to engage with SMEs”.  Chase Bank Youth and Women Funds

Looking at financial results of two banks that had bond issues in 2015, and for which they released detailed information memorandums (IM’s), these show the flat or declining status of the youth and women fund programs. Both Chase, and Family, banks were intermediaries in the incentives by the Youth Enterprise Fund and the Women Enterprise Fund to advance funds to the respective target groups.

Family Bank Youth & Women Funds

That does not mean that the Kenya government has stopped supporting entrepreneurs in the sectors, as there’s now the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) initiative under which the government aims to allow 30% procurement contracts to be given to the youth, women and persons with disability without competition from established firms.

Opportunities on the horizon

Yesterday, for about an hour, Mt. Kenya was clearly visible from Nairobi, high in the horizon with its snow peaks. It’s occasionally visible, usually early in the morning and it was a sight to see until some clouds moved in.

looked like this
Anyway, also on the horizon is:

Cheap Flights:
East African Safari Air has introduced a buy one, get one free ticket to Mombasa up to December 12.

also Coldtusker & Kenya Airways were correct about Kisumu – today EASA has also canceled flights to Kisumu citing the poor state of the runway

VIA Uganda has introduced one way fares of $69 from Nairobi to Entebbe starting on Monday.

Hotel revival :
At the Coast new hotels are springing up to capture the increasing number of tourists and visitors at the coast. Sarova are adding a hotel at the South Coast, Neptune may add two facilities more while 2007 could also see a return of Intercontinental hotels to the Kenya coast.

Marital lawyers:
Yesterday also had a nice chat with a group at which it was unanimously agreed that, in light of the Samuel Gichuru divorce & property fight, there is a growth market for lawyers who specialize in divorce cases, investigators to trace assets, and lawyers to draft creative prenuptial agreements.

Green cards: Just over a week left in the US 2008 diversity visa lottery as applications must be submitted online by Sunday December 3.

Women directors at state corporations of the Republic of Kenya: Following President Kibaki’s recent directive that 30% of the posts in public service be allocated to women, the government has now invited qualified Kenyan women invited to submit their CV’s to join the boards of state corporations – they must be university graduates with proven track records in senior management experience and be individuals of high integrity. Submit CV’s to the Secretary, state corporation advisory committee, Office of president, P O Box 62345-00200 or KICC 9th floor Nairobi.

Other Jobs

East African breweries:
– Head of human resources – EABL Kenya demand
– Human resource manager – EABL Kenya supply
Apply to by 8/12

Country sales representative (Tanzania) at Haco. Apply to by 1/12

Head of marketing at Housing Finance. Apply to by 4/12

Project administrator at ICRAF (world Agroforestry centre)/CIMMYT. Apply to by 8/12

ICT strategy consultants at Kenya airports authority. Apply through

Kenya commercial bank (Tanzania)
– Head of corporate banking
– Head of retail banking
Apply to the divisional director HR KCB 48400-00100 by 30/11

Public relations officer at Pan Africa Insurance. Apply to by 29/11

Safaricom careers: senior manager reporting, optimization engineer, senior optimization engineer, senior CRM systems developer, credit controller, senior manager – organization development & change management.

Tiomin :
– Chief accountant
– Internal auditor
– Human resource officer
apply to by 30/11

There’s more madness from the City Council of Nairobi whose strong-arm tactics continue to frighten businesses out of downtown Nairobi. From knocking over restaurant sidewalk flower pots even as they plant their own at roundabouts, to charging exorbitant amounts for businesses to put up signboards (i.e. advertising) or any promotion. Yesterday Kenya airways staff were handing out flyers promoting the “2,500 to Mombasa fares” and they all bore “city council planning department/urban design/development section” stamps at the back – I wonder how much that cost or how long it took someone to rubber stamp each flyer.

Now, barely a month we laughed at the mayor’s ludicrous suggestion to double parking charges (i.e. 70 shillings in the morning 70 in afternoon), the council has informed motorists that from December 1, parking off-street will cost 100 shillings per entry – previously it was 100 per day. Also the new fee applies to motorists who bought and paid for quarterly monthly permits. So, in addition the almost 4,000 shillings they paid in October, they will have to fork over another 500 per week.

Women to save the world economy?

The Economist argues that women are now the most powerful engine of global growth!

  1. The future of the world economy lies increasingly in female hands
  2. In rich countries, girls now do better at school than boys, and well over half of all university degrees are now being awarded to women.
  3. Almost everywhere, more women are employed and the percentage of men with jobs has fallen. In the emerging East Asian economies, for every 100 men in the labour force there are now 83 women, higher even than the average in OECD countries.
  4. Since 1970 women have filled two new jobs for every one taken by a man.
  5. Women make perhaps 80% of consumers’ buying decisions—from health care and homes to furniture and food.
  6. In years to come better-educated women will take more of the top jobs
  7. Researchers have also concluded that women make better investors than men
  8. In poor countries too, the under-utilisation of women stunts economic growth.
  9. There is strong evidence that educating girls boosts prosperity.
  10. Countries with high female labour participation rates, such as Sweden, tend to have higher fertility rates than Germany, Italy and Japan, where fewer women work.