The County Government of Uasin Gishu through the Department of Trade and Cooperatives is committed to supporting women in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) in marketing their products, broadening their investor network by using established relationships, research and dissemination of information.

CECM Martha Cheruto while addressing the women traders’ engagement forum attended by hundreds of MSMEs, an event that was organized by Stanbic Foundation on productive lending to women traders, called on them to join Cooperatives, saccos and registered groups to benefit from such initiatives.

“His Excellency the Governor has created a department that deals solely with gender issues and great initiatives set to see our county women grow economically,” said Cheruto.

She added that the County Enterprise Development Fund (CEDF) and the Inua Biashara Fund which are all domiciled under her docket provide affordable loans to MSMEs further urging them to make use of the funds for the growth of their ventures.

The partnership between the County Government and the Stanbic Foundation aims at enhancing funding for MSMEs by training and mentoring them with business skills, promoting value addition and increasing the export of quality products from the County.

According to research on women entrepreneurs by the World Bank, women-owned enterprises contribute significantly to the country’s economy and their businesses account for about 48 per cent of MSMEs.

Cheruto further noted that women in businesses are still facing myriads of challenges among them financial constraints, unequal access to land and property hence unable to access financing due to lack of collateral, something she affirmed her dockets concern in dealing with through partnership with various stakeholders in making their dreams a reality.

Trade Chief Officer Geoffrey Tanui who was also present noted that women’s enterprises are very vibrant and the need to lay down structures that ensure a conducive working environment for them to conduct their businesses is key.

On their part, Francis Muchangi (Branch Manager) and Nalo Doreen (projects coordinator Stanbic Foundation) said they are mandated to train the women MSMEs on financial management, protection, benefits, and networking for them to share ideas and capacity building.

Directors Isaac Lagat (Trade), Irene Kapting’ei (Industrialization), and Roselyne Rae (Cooperatives) were among those present during the event.