POVERTY REDUCTION

Women in MSMEs to contribute in boosting economy

Women make up nearly half of all Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises owners.

In Summary

• A virtual event that will take place on April 14 organized by Kenya Diaspora Alliance and women in Business and Jua Kali Federation is set to focus on womens' key role in poverty reduction and economic development. 

• The theme of the event is "empowering women and youth-led MSMEs to access capital and finance leveraging diaspora."

Trade CS Betty Maina.
Trade CS Betty Maina.
Image: COURTESY

Women in Business (WIB/Chamber of Commerce) have said that Women in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Finance MSMEs play a pivotal role in Kenya’s economy. 

They contribute to over 90 per cent of total labour.

A virtual event that will take place on April 14 organized by Kenya Diaspora Alliance and women in Business and Jua Kali Federation is set to focus on womens' key role in poverty reduction and economic development. 

“MSMEs are employing approximately 14.9 million Kenyans in various sectors of the economy and a bulk of them are both youth and women-led/owned, “Dr Shem Ochuodho global chairman of Kenya Diaspora Alliance said in a statement.

He adds that MSMEs in Kenya face numerous constraints in accessing affordable finance for their enterprises.

The women are assisting in issues of access to loans without collateral and access to the formal sector. 

According to the World Bank report on SMEs entrepreneurs, women make up nearly half of all Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises owners and 40 per cent of smallholder farm managers, yet they have less than 10 Percent of the available credit and less than one per cent of agricultural credit. 

They added that the potential contribution of the diaspora to Kenya’s economic development goes beyond personal Remittances.

Ochuodho says that in financial terms, African Diasporas remit about USD85 billion per year with USD30 billion to Egypt, USD25 billion to Nigeria, USD9 billion to Morocco, and USD3-5 billion to Ethiopia, Ghana, and Kenya each.

For Kenya, the USD 3 billion per year exceeds earnings from all the three top agricultural exports (tea, horticulture and coffee - USD2.4 billion) put together. 

Interestingly, even during Covid times (2020), when almost everything else was looking South, remittances grew by about 13 per cent to USD 3.3 billion, according to the Central Bank of Kenya’s figures. 

Apart from contemporary Diasporas, there are also historical Diasporas, some of whom are desirous to either relocate back to, invest in or do business with Africa. 

The African American alone, for instance, is believed to have a spending capacity of USD 1.2 trillion, part of which could make its way as investment, tourism, business or trade with Africa. 

CS Trade and industrialization Betty Maina will be the chief guest at the event, among Torus Mwithiga Group Retail director NCBA, Kiambu Deputy Governor Joyce Ngugi among others. 

The theme of the event is "empowering women and youth-led MSMEs to access capital and finance leveraging diaspora."