Too many challenges scaring us away from venturing in business – Thika women decry
Poor access to social and economic opportunities due to lack of knowledge have been cited as major influences scaring most women away from venturing in business.
According to most women in Thika, Kiambu County, lack of market access and information, lack of affordable technology and training, lack of sufficient financial resources to buy input in bulk and lack of appropriate growth financing and low levels of financial literacy have also been dragging their ambitions to become entrepreneurs.
Speaking during a women business sensitization forum that sought to address the challenges women face in their bid to effectively remain in business, upcoming women businesspersons cited that traditional fallacies on women involvement in business and family breakages have also continuously pushed them out of business.
They said that sexual reproductive health, economic empowerment programs also need to be intensified to address and empower women to make informed business decisions.
Led by Grace Kamondo, the women insisted that their access to credit should be promoted to reduce the major financial barriers to expanding their enterprises.
“Women are also faced with major bottlenecks while trading with the government including but not limited to many transactions they are supposed to make before they are licensed to start businesses. The mode of doing business should be eased in order to lure more women,” said Kamondo.
They said that women have successfully run families with very little or no income and sometimes single handedly saying that with little empowerment, most of them can surpass their local and international potential.
Due to their patience, integrity, hard work and stress management, the women said that they can perform better than men in business and urged various government entities to support their bid.
Kiambu deputy governor Dr. Joyce Ngugi who graced the event held at a Thika hotel today insisted that women who form the greatest percentage of the population are natural caretakers and nurturers and should thereby be supported to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
The deputy governor reiterated the county government’s role in supporting women stating that most devolved units have been supporting gender-based women empowerment, periodically conducts social and economic empowerment programmes targeting women in all the sub counties to provide important and useful tools to make them aware of various opportunities that they can utilize to become more socially and economically adaptable for success.
“There is also a need for counties to establish partnerships with organizations of good will to upscale women empowerment programs such as SGBV prevention and response,” she said.
She singled out that Kiambu County has established Jijenge Fund to support women, youth & PWDs SMEs adding that the devolved unit in partnership with the National Government is also rolling out a women empowerment program in fish farming (Aqua culture) and in identified value chains.
At the same time, Ngugi said that the county has been supporting vulnerable girls with education bursaries and vocational training and urged all women to believe in themselves as they can actualize all their dreams with self-belief and commitment.