Enablis East Africa recently received $50,000 from the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) to support women-owned businesses to win government contracts in Kenya.
The $50,000 will be used to build the capacity of women entrepreneurs on assembling tender documents and raise the financing necessary to secure government contracts. It will also be used to empower 300 women entrepreneurs in five counties in Kenya to bid for contracts following the Government directive that 30% of all contracts be reserved for women & youth. Working with small business support units at the counties, Enablis will launch 5 virtual offices in the counties to replicate the United States Government’s Small Business Administration.
According to Mr. Fredrick Kariuki, Regional Director, Enablis East Africa notes that societies that discriminate by gender tend to experience less rapid economic growth and poverty reduction, and that social gender disparities produce economically inefficient outcomes. Indeed research show that if African countries had closed the gender gap in schooling between 1960 and 1992 as quickly as East Asia did, this would have produced close to a doubling of per capita income growth in the region.
Seeking to increase the productivity and effectiveness of ANDE members, and create tools and insights to help the small and growing business (SGB) sector, the grant is part of the fifth round of the ANDE Capacity Development Fund (CDF) whose winners were announced at ANDE’s annual conference, held from September 30 to October 2, 2013, in Glen Cove (USA).
Enablis East Africa’s proposal was particularly in line with this CDF round emphasis targeting women’s entrepreneurship and invention-based enterprises.
The funding will also support the customization and rollout of the Global Enablis Network Information Exchange (GENIE) to help government enterprise development units manage small businesses support programs in their counties.