Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kenyan businesswomen having trouble accessing the Women Enterprise Fund

Established in 2006, the Women Enterprise Fund was set up by the Kenyan government to give microcredit loans to women. The WEF was funded with 3.7 million dollars available to give to the women that banks wouldn't do businesses with. Banks would avoid the small businesswomen because of lack of education or collateral. Despite the goal by the fund to be more accessible, women are still having trouble getting the loans.

From the Inter Press Service, writer Miriam Gathigah describes the trouble that women are having.

But meeting the requirements has not been an easy task for some women. Stella Omollo from Nyanza region was only able to access the fund after a long wait.

"It is true there are women who want the money but can’t meet the requirements. There are those who have no idea what a business plan is and run whatever business they have as a way of life and not really with a business mindset," Omollo says.

Omollo also did not know how to draw up a business plan until she asked her nephew, a college student, to help her. Omollo, however, says it is the responsibility of the fund officials to ensure that women are adequately trained and know how to access the funds.

"Indeed we are trained before accessing the money, but the information is generally inadequate and only benefits women who are quick to understand issues. Most of the target group for the fund have no proper education and are in the informal sector," Omollo says.

Wambui agrees: "What’s the point of a one-off session for women in the informal sector? We need consistent training, perhaps once every three months to keep us on track."

When the fund started each of the 210 constituencies in the country were allocated the equivalent of 12,000 dollars; but this has now been doubled to meet demand through an increased national budgetary allocation.

The Fund's CEO, Samuel Wainaina, has heard the complaints about women having a hard time accessing the money available.

"There have been complaints relating to lack of information on where to access disbursed funds, particularly among rural women. There is need for more information," Wainaina admits.

1 comment:

hesbon said...

so sad. but things shall work out