At least 5,000 women in Laikipia will benefit from an entrepreneurship programme launched by the county government and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.The project aims at improving earnings for women entrepreneurs through capacity building and access to markets. The centres will serve as one-stop shops for market information and mentorship
Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu said under the project, advisory centres will be set up to advise the businesswomen. “We will support women with initial capital once they have undergone the empowerment programme. We have set aside Sh10 million for the County Enterprise Fund and Sh20 million for the County Cooperative Revolving Fund.
“We also have Sh10 million for the Household Economic Empowerment Programme designed for micro-household activities like setting up kitchen gardens and purchase of water tanks,” he said.
Mr Irungu said women entrepreneurs often face challenges such as cultural norms, market barriers, lack of information and legislation.He said women can succeed if these challenges are addressed.
The governor made the remarks during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the county and SNV in Nanyuki on Wednesday.
Harm Duiker, the SNV country director, said the organisation will support women excel in business.Mr Duiker noted that his organisation is interested in increasing opportunities for women in the county. He noted that the MOU will leverage the existing programmes that SNV runs in the country.
He said SNV will establish advisory centres in 11 other counties, including Isiolo, Samburu, Kajiado, Narok, Baringo, Machakos, Kitui, Makueni, Taita-Taveta, and Wajir.
Sabdiyo Dido, SNV global manager for a women’s enterprises programme, said women are crucial in transforming societies.
“Women are catalysts for societal transformation, therefore, empowering [them] economically has significant gains for their families and society as a whole. They need improved income, which can easily be gained through enterprises,” he said.