Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) has partnered with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and other organizations to help women who run small and medium-sized businesses standardize and improve the quality of their products.
So far, the partnership has seen more than 13,500 WEF-trained beneficiaries receive technical advice to improve their products by ensuring they meet industry standards. Once products are standardized, women are eligible to apply for certification, to which the Fund pays a subsidized rate of Kshs 5,800. As a result, their products will be qualified for the KEBS Diamond quality mark which allows them to access local and international markets.
Thanks to this partnership, the agency has so far disbursed more than Ksh 150 million to finance Beneficiary companies in the manufacturing and processing sector. This number is expected to increase dramatically as the number of SMEs venturing into the manufacturing sector continues to grow.
Business funding covers many businesses including processing vegetable oils, making soaps and detergents, purifying and bottling water, processing yogurt, making aquariums for sale, processing honey, the manufacture of hides and skins, the processing of horticultural products, construction materials such as tiles and bricks, ventilation units, milk processing and welding.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, women and youth make up over 70% of the population of our Kenya, but despite this, they have continued to face huge and varied challenges in their quest for economic empowerment and social. It is through these partnerships that the WEF will not only increase their chances of accessing credit to start or develop their businesses, but also strengthen their capacity to manage their businesses in order to increase their chances of success.
Ing. Charles Mwirigi, CEO of the Women Enterprise Fund, said: “One of the main mandates of WEF is to provide business support services, including linkages for women entrepreneurs to improve the quality of their products and access markets. This was one of the many strategic partnerships we have entered into to support our beneficiaries.