What you need to know:
- Women Enterprise Fund and Mount Kenya University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on capacity building and mentorship for women entrepreneurs.
- WEF chairperson Ms Njoki Kahiga, said the partnership will contribute to a wealth of knowledge that is beneficial to women in business.
Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) and Mount Kenya University (MKU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on capacity building and mentorship for women entrepreneurs.
The partnership will see the two institutions carry out joint training, coaching, mentorship and networking for the women entrepreneurs in MKU’s Graduate Enterprise Academy (GEA) and WEF beneficiaries.
MKU established the GEA in 2013, as a forum of empowering the youth through mind-set change towards job and wealth creation.
WEF’s subsidized loans are aimed at financially empowering graduate trainees to meet their business goals.
Speaking during the signing ceremony held at the MKU main campus in Thika, WEF chairperson Ms Njoki Kahiga, said the partnership will contribute to a wealth of knowledge that is beneficial to women in business.
“My board is committed to consider and formally seal these relationships through availing more resources on request, for the greater good of the Kenyan woman and country at large,” said Ms Kahiga.
MKU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi, acknowledged the fund’s role in gender mainstreaming by offering affordable credit to women who had been side-lined by the mainstream financial institutions due to lack of collateral.
The VC added the partnership will also provide the university with a platform for doing research that will add value and inform policy reviews for WEF.
“This is a private-public partnership where we just don’t want to be participating, but rather generating knowledge. As an institution, we know we can provide the financial training and certificates that will boost the morale and confidence of the women entrepreneurs,” said Prof. Jaganyi.
WEF Chief Executive Officer Charles Mwirigi, said this was the first MOU the fund was signing with a private university, pointing out that through it, the principles of win-win and shared interest will be attained.
“Such partnerships have enabled the fund train more than1.4 million women on entrepreneurship and business skills throughout the country,” said Mr Mwirigi.
The latest partnership brings to five the number of institutions that have partnered with WEF on capacity building, one of the fund’s five core mandates.
Other partners include the Coca-Cola Company, SNV Netherlands, Hand in Hand Africa and Kenya Institute of Business Training (KIBT).
Since its inception in 2007, WEF has disbursed more than Sh20 billion to women entrepreneurs across the country.
Last month, WEF unveiled two products, including a flexible lending model that gives autonomy to individual women entrepreneurs to borrow money for individual projects under the umbrella of their groups.
WEF also introduced enhanced financing to women groups of up to Sh1 million, up from a previous ceiling of Sh750,000.