Women in manufacturing can now leverage on a partnership between Kenya Association of Manufacturers and SBM Bank Kenya to access finance.
In a meeting held on Friday, SBM Bank Kenya CEO, Moezz Mir noted that the partnership will play a critical role in facilitating access to finance to enable women-owned and lead businesses take up opportunities within the manufacturing sector.
“Access to capital remains a hindrance to entrepreneurship, business growth and expansion. This is especially true for women-owned and run businesses due to the reliance on traditional modes of finance that are heavily reliant on collateralization of assets,” Mir said.
According to Women in Manufacturing Chairlady, Ms Flora Mutahi, women are key drivers of manufacturing within the informal sector producing products such as bread, clothing, cooking oil, hair oil, yogurt, and other products in their homesteads but do not see it as part of the manufacturing sector.
“Women are already producing. Why not provide a nurturing environment for them to scale these businesses and make them profitable as they employ more people? This is what we are trying to do with the Women In Manufacturing Programme. To encourage women to step forward and dare to grow, and also to advocate the government to establish policies to bring women into the sector”, Ms. Mutahi added.
KAM Chief Executive Phyllis Wakiaga, the Women In Manufacturing Programme was established to bridge the gap between existing opportunities in manufacturing and the kind of skill required to increase the participation of women in manufacturing.
“It is important to encourage women who are interested in creating and innovating to join and scale their businesses in manufacturing so that we can create more job and raise the sector’s share of GDP”, Ms. Wakiaga added.