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 development was announced by WEF CEO Charles Mwirigi, during the commissioning of 36 new trainers. The group successfully completed a week-long 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 (CEWA Ltd) 5by20 initiative. In Kenya, the partnership targets to empower one million women. In 2019, WEF and CEWA announced that a further 285,000 Kenyan women will be empowered in their joint economic empowerment program.
In 2019, 161,415 women benefited 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.
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. They were also trained 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.
Formed in 2007, the Women Enterprise Fund is a government institution that empowers women socially and economically, through offering subsidized credit for enterprise development. They also carry out capacity building through business skills and value chain training. 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.