Kakamega County First Lady H.E. Prof Janet Kassili Barasa, President's Women Rights Advisor, Hon. Harriette Chiggai, Absa Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna and Africa Guarantee Fund Head of Risk Joshua Obengele, Mohamed during launch of a Women's Economic Empowerment and Investment Curriculum that seeks to empower at least 30,000 women-led MSME businesses across Kakamega, Bungoma, and Vihiga counties. PHOTO/COURTESY

Absa Bank Kenya Partners with Office of Women’s Rights Advisor to President Of Kenya and Africa Guarantee Fund to Train Women Entrepreneurs

Banking & Finance

Absa Bank Kenya in partnership with The Executive Office of the President, through the office of the Women’s Rights Advisor and Africa Guarantee Fund (AGF), have launched a Women’s Economic Empowerment and Investment Curriculum dubbed Empower Her County Program to empower at least 30,000 women-led micro, small and medium-sized businesses across Kakamega, Bungoma, and Vihiga counties.



This program seeks to address gender-based disparities and overcome economic challenges women entrepreneurs face to advance entrepreneurship by providing them with the tools and resources needed to upskill their businesses, promote resilience and thrive in today’s competitive business. In addition, the curriculum will offer, the ‘Start and Improve our Business (SIYB) module’ which is one of the largest global business management training programme that was developed by the International Labour Organization (ILO).



Addressing the business community at the launch event held at Masinde Muliro University, the President’s Women Rights Advisor, Hon. Harriette Chiggai, said,

“The launch of Empower Her County Programme is a demonstration of the need to support women-led MSMEs. This is why my Office is partnering with private-sector entities to curate programs that can reach women at the grassroots and the main reason why His Excellency the President created the office of the Women’s Rights Advisor, to show his commitment towards every Kenyan woman and girl.

The programme includes training on business registration, taxation, marketing, savings and investment, budgeting and financial planning, bookkeeping, digitization of businesses,market linkages beyond counties, and cross-border training.


On her part, Absa Bank Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna- Ochwa said

Closing the gender gap through economic empowerment is key to achieving our Sustainable Development Goals as a nation. When more women are empowered to create wealth, economies grow. This programme resonates with our corporate purpose to empower Africa’s tomorrow together, one story at a time, and is in line with our commitment to empowering over one million women entrepreneurs by 2025 by providing them with access to market information, markets for their products and services, coaching and mentorship, and business networks, as well as providing the capital required to scale their businesses to the next level.”



According to a 2018 report by the International Labour Organisation, nearly 60 per cent of women’s employment globally is in the informal economy, and in low-income countries, it is more than 90 per cent.

Women constitute over 60 per cent of the 74 per cent of Kenyans living in rural areas, where poverty levels remain high. Women’s Empowerment Index 2020 by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics implies that the empowerment rate of women in urban areas is 40 per cent, nearly double the rate of empowered women in rural areas, at 22 per cent over the same year, signifying the need for empowerment of women, especially at the county level.



This financial literacy program, which is set to be rolled out in all 47 counties, aims to increase economic participation and entrepreneurship among 70% of women and improve financial literacy and management skills for 90% of women, including increasing their knowledge and uptake of the available government and private sector funding.


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