In a significant stride toward fostering a more inclusive and enabling business environment for women in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya, the Comesa Federation of Women in Business (COMFWB) has unveiled a transformative initiative known as the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs of Kenya (FOWEK). This dynamic lobby group is geared towards empowering women entrepreneurs, helping them thrive in a traditionally male-dominated business landscape.
The mission of FOWEK is to break barriers and create a nurturing space where women entrepreneurs can excel. "We intend to establish strong partnerships that facilitate market access for women entrepreneurs, opening the doors to new horizons of opportunities," stated Chikakula Miti, CEO of COMFWB.
A Unified Platform
FOWEK operates on a structured approach that involves building a network of women in business associations. The goal is to unite women from diverse sectors who are poised to drive change and forge ahead in their entrepreneurial journeys. This inclusive platform seeks to break down silos and encourage synergy among women entrepreneurs.
Unleashing Potential Through Climate Action
A notable highlight is the significant role that climate change action plays in creating opportunities for women entrepreneurs. The drive to combat climate change has led to the emergence of new avenues for employment, particularly in green and sustainable businesses. Women are at the forefront of this wave, harnessing their talents and creativity to make a lasting impact.
A National Agenda
Vicky Karuga, President of FOWEK, underlines the commitment to advancing the women in business agenda at a national level. This includes establishing an environment where women are not only welcomed but encouraged to take center stage in the business arena.
Empowering through Finance
Recognizing the pivotal role that access to finance plays in business expansion, FOWEK has joined forces with the Trade and Development Bank. The objective is to ensure that women entrepreneurs have the financial support they need to expand their businesses and explore new investment opportunities. The partnership aims to create a robust financial infrastructure for women-led businesses in Kenya.
The Power of Collaboration
FOWEK is not a solitary endeavor. It extends a warm invitation to women's associations in business to join hands in the pursuit of their shared objectives. The collective force of like-minded associations forms the basis for crafting frameworks and practices that will drive the empowerment of women entrepreneurs in Kenya. As part of the broader ecosystem, the government plays a pivotal role in championing the cause of women in business. Dr. Alfred K. Ombudo, PS Trade, and Ms. Catherine Kinthinji both underscore the government's commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs and supporting their businesses. The government recognizes the immense potential that women bring to the entrepreneurial landscape.
As part of its forward-looking approach, FOWEK is committed to building the capacity of women in business. This endeavor includes the establishment of an incubation hub designed to nurture and support women-led startups. By providing the necessary resources, FOWEK aims to set the stage for innovative women entrepreneurs to thrive and transform their ideas into reality.
FOWEK's mission goes beyond national boundaries. It aims to not only empower women to excel within Kenya but also to encourage women entrepreneurs to expand their horizons and explore business opportunities that transcend borders. This broader perspective is pivotal in supporting women entrepreneurs' growth and impact in the global business landscape.
As FOWEK continues to gather momentum, it sets the stage for a brighter and more inclusive future for women entrepreneurs in Kenya and beyond.