•The programme targets to train the women on existing opportunities and avenues of accessing credit to get them back on their feet.
•Caucus coordinator Caroline Ogot says women organisations in Kisumu have come together to sensitive women entrepreneurs on how to rebuild resilient businesses.
The Urban Grassroots Women Caucus has initiated a programme to help women recover from the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The initiative aims at training women on existing opportunities and ways of accessing loans to enable them to continue with their businesses.
Caucus coordinator Caroline Ogot said women organisations in Kisumu have come together to educate entrepreneurs on how to rebuild resilient businesses.
Ogot said they have rolled out training for small scale businesswomen who have been affected by the pandemic.
“These are women who were forced to close their businesses when the first coronavirus case was reported in March,” she said.
Ogot spoke during sensitisation meeting at Mama Grace Onyango Hall on Thursday. The event was meant to allow women to give their views on emerging issues and how to access grants to support their businesses.
“We want to be inspired which is able to be certain that women don’t lose out on their vital potential for various sorts of innovation,” Ogot said.
She said with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic the financial system has been severely impacted. "Women entrepreneurs want sure data and abilities required for companies to be extra viable in this ever-transforming digital world," she said.
Ogot said women should also be educated on ‘how to leverage new digital applied sciences to conduct new enterprise ventures and maximize advantages from their enterprise’.
“Digital platforms may be the largest enabler for women-led ventures the place women, not solely restrict themselves to the home market however transcend that with the assistance of social media platforms,” she said.
Caucus head of media and advocacy Alice Odera said women have been impacted greatly by Covid-19.
“We initially had businesswomen who had been evicted from various markets and streets to pave way for developments. Then came Covid-19, which has massively affected their businesses,” she said.
Odera said there was a need to support table banking locally known as chamas as a recovery tool for women in the Covid-19 pandemic. The social solidarity economy.
She said the caucus team is looking into ways and educating them on how they can access money from financial institutions for investments to make them self-reliant.
Ashura Michael, a member of the caucus, said there about 15 million persons with disabilities in Kenya.
Out of the 15 million, 15 per cent are women with disabilities but always left out in achieving their agenda.
Ashura championed for promotion of women's participation in the economic and political arena as well as the inclusivity of the disabled and not to sideline them in critical decision making.
“We believe through economic empowerment of women it can change their livelihood not only women but their families,” she said.
Ashura called on development partners to join the caucus in pushing and supporting women including those with disability rights and income-generating activities.
“We want to have many women participating in nation-building through various economic initiatives,” she said.
Merab Ochieng, a member of the caucus, said women in Kisumu have been worst hit.
“Early this year, she said women were pushed out of business when structures they operated from on Railways land were demolished to pave way for the expansion of Kisumu Port,” Ochieng said.
She said immediately after demolition, Covid-19 broke out and women were hit further following measures put in place to contain the pandemic.
Ochieng noted that the sensitisation targets to assist the women to tap into existing opportunities to help them restart their businesses.
“Women will be sensitised on how to take advantage of the 30 percent offered to women to supply goods and services to the national and county governments,” Ochieng said.