INCLUSION

Kenyan SMEs more likely to hire minority groups -lobby

Small busineses have more diversity and inclusion of minorities like LGBTIQ+ people

In Summary

• “Smaller companies are more open and amenable to support diversity and inclusion even in countries where laws penalise same-sex intimacy,” said Njeri Gateru.

“In our experience, this is made possible by the small nature of the businesses which in turn have fewer decision-making processes,” she said in the statement.

Shops in a residential area. LGBTIQ lobby group says that SMEs are more flexible in hiring minorities that bigger companies.
Shops in a residential area. LGBTIQ lobby group says that SMEs are more flexible in hiring minorities that bigger companies.
Image: GODFREY KIMEGA

In Kenya, small business enterprises are more likely to employ diverse people such as individuals who identify as members of the LGBTQI+ community.

This is according to the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), an independent human rights institution in Kenya.

The commission was part of a team of civil society organisations that designed the Civil Society Business toolkit meant to encourage LGBTIQ+ individuals' inclusion by the business sector.

Njeri Gateru, the commission's executive director, said that smaller companies are more inclusive due to fewer people making the decisions.

“Smaller companies are more open and amenable to support diversity and inclusion even in countries where laws penalise same-sex intimacy”

“In our experience, this is made possible by the small nature of the businesses which in turn have fewer decision-making processes,” she said in the statement.

The toolkit was developed by Workplace Pride, an international organisation working to improve the lives of LGBTIQ+ individuals in workplaces worldwide together with other LGBTIQ+ civil society groups globally, including Kenya’s NGLHRC.

The toolkit is tailored to help civil societies deepen their relationships with business partners thus advancing LGBTIQ+ inclusion.

It gives civil society groups insights on how to establish the business case for LGBTIQ+ inclusion, sustain business partnerships, and how to reach targets and measurements

Gateru said the commission has built successful relationships with small and medium-sized enterprises in Kenya through engagement within different forums.

These companies, she said, have had public digital media campaigns that not only raise awareness but also increase sales on items where proceeds from the sales are channeled towards supporting the commission’s work.

“This has enabled us to diversify our income streams and provide support to some of the commission’s activities through these financial streams,” she added.