The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s flagship business skills training programme Road to Growth is delivered to women entrepreneurs in Kenya for the first time. This follows a highly successful piloting of the Foundation’s award-winning business skills app HerVenture in Kenya in 2020 and previous iterations of Road to Growth in Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia and Vietnam between 2015 and 2021.
The new programme is delivered with in-country partner Sinapis, thanks to funding from partner DHL, and will bring crucial entrepreneurial skills and support to over 3,500 women between April and December 2021. Road to Growth builds business skills, financial literacy, networks and confidence through digital learning tools, and the programme has this year launched an additional leadership and influencing training element so participants can learn how to shape the environments around them so that women are better enabled to be successful business owners.
Investing in women entrepreneurs plays a crucial role in supporting Kenya’s 2030 vision of becoming a middle income nation by 2030. 49% of micro and small businesses are women owned—more than in any other East African country—yet women own only 9% of medium sized enterprises, suggesting they find it difficult to scale. Road to Growth provides the support needed for women in Kenya to not only protect their micro, small and medium-sized enterprises from the impacts of the pandemic, but to transform them into thriving and sustainable businesses, with tremendous benefits for families, communities and the economy.
Road to Growth will support 3,500 women entrepreneurs through a two-phased approach:
Phase 1: HerVenture
3,500 women access learning, networking and support opportunities through our mobile learning app HerVenture. Available on iOS and Android, HerVenture provides women entrepreneurs of small and growing businesses with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to successfully grow their enterprises. HerVenture offers essential business training and support ‘on the go’. It features eight learning ‘tracks’ on a range of topics, including launching a business, accessing finance, expanding market access and e-commerce. Learning content to aid business digitalisation was developed and added in 2020 in response to urgent needs emerging from women entrepreneurs as a result of the pandemic.
Phase 2: Road to Growth Online
200 women will be selected to undertake an intensive, seven-week financial literacy and investment readiness training course. The course, delivered entirely online both due to the ongoing need for social distancing and to increase availability, will be structured around the Foundation’s custom-built ‘Road to Growth’ learning curriculum. This stage will also present the women with networking opportunities within the group, which serve as highly successful professional and personal support systems, as demonstrated by experiences of previous cohorts of participating women.
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We are a community of faith-driven entrepreneurs seeking to make disciples and alleviate poverty through the power of entrepreneurship in East Africa and beyond. At Sinapis, we empower entrepreneurs professionally and spiritually using training and a global support network so they can grow to the next level and transform the world around them. Our passion is small and growing businesses (SGBs) typically with 5 to 250 employees because these companies fuel the economy and account for 67-80% of new job growth. Their success goes far beyond the entrepreneur and brings employment and dignity to their community. Visit www.sinapis.org to learn more.