Gateway Real Estate injects Sh4.3m to support women in construction

Funding to cater for a 12-month training programme.

In Summary

•Up to 30 women too benefit from the kitty.

•These includes women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Buildher Kenya beneficiaries on site/HANDOUT
Buildher Kenya beneficiaries on site/HANDOUT

Women focused building and construction entity–Buildher Kenya has received a major boost with the donation of $40,000 (Sh4.3 million) from Gateway Real Estate Africa(GREA).

GREA is a private real estate development company specialising in the turnkey construction of accommodation.

The non-profit operation was founded in 2018 to equip disadvantaged women in Kenya with accredited construction skills, one of the few female focused organizations registered to sit for the prestigious National Industrial Training Authority exams.

“The empowerment of women in the construction sector is something we feel very strongly about, as reflected by the large number of females in our senior management team,” said GREA co-founder and CEO Greg Pearson.

“The excellent work done by Buildher in equipping women with the right professional and life skills not only play a huge role in breaking down gender barriers but supports the long-term sustainability of our industry,” Pearson added.

The funding will support enrollment of women to undergo training and sit for the industry exam.

Buildher develops artisans at a higher skill level, making them easily fit in the local constuction industry.

“Trainees surpass entry level industry standards that contribute to higher quality, productivity and increased efficiencies. In addition, they learn valuable life skills including communication, fitness, and mental health to ensure work readiness,” Buildher Kenya co-founder and CEO, Tatu Gatere, noted.

Buildher trainees consists of women aged 17 to 40 years and include all women from disadvantaged neighborhoods located in the east of Nairobi.

The training programme lasts for 12 months with new courses starting every year to allow for a systematic advancement through the technical skills curriculum including carpentry and joinery, and painting and decorating.

Each cohort enrollment accommodates 30 women and approximately four months are spent learning trade skills before being placed at pre-approved employees for two to eight months of training in a live working environment (depending on the training area).

Buildher’s trainers comprise professionals with educational and industry experience.

An impact team collects data and a dedicated placement team ensures candidates are successfully placed with employer partners.

Research has shown that after four months of training, cohorts report an increase in income of 520 per cent on average.

Employers report a 67 per cent increase in productivity and 60 per cent have changed their policies to incorporate gender, sexual harassment, and dignified pay.

GREA has successfully deployed US$400 million (Sh43.3 billion) across five countries since inception(in 2018), benefiting mostly women who are spread across different positions, from managerial, operational and technical teams, including the Chief Operating Officer, development managers, quantity surveyors and construction managers.

“Our involvement with Buildher not only supports women who support women but underscores our

ethos of adding value to the economies and communities in which we operate,” Pearson said.

In November 2020, GREA announced its first development in Kenya with the construction of Rosslyn Grove, a 90-unit diplomatic apartment and town home community development in conjunction with Texas based Verdant Ventures.

Aevitas Group in collaboration with a local Kenyan architecture firm, Design Partnership, have been tasked to design the development.

GREA has contracted both local and international engineers and consultants.

Considering its successful track record with companies such as MACE YMR, services including quantity surveying, project management, construction and other sub-contracting services have been sourced locally, with Betts & Townsend Project Managers leading the consultant team.

Materials are sourced locally as far as possible, with only specialist items being imported.

The development is set for completion in March 2022.