The Women Enterprise Fund encourages women to become active participants and consumers of services to transform their lives positively.
Kenyan women should appreciate that the government has personalised Vision 2030 to be owned by each one of them.
Women Fund is a semi-autonomous government agency in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth & Gender Affairs established in August 2007, to provide accessible and affordable credit to support women start and expand business for wealth and employment creation.
The fund has been able to extend loans to women amounting Ksh. 2.6B to over 645,825 women entrepreneurs. Equally, to date, the Fund has trained 116,372 women in loan management and business skills.
What the Women Enterprise Fund Offers
The Fund achieves the capacity building of women entrepreneurs through the volunteerism concept.
The volunteers are based at the constituency level, and their roles include recruiting women, training them and monitoring their projects and loan repayments.
The training curriculum covers various areas including;
- Business skills
- Market Access
- Basic ICT skills.
It is incumbent upon the volunteers to conduct the training of women in their group setups at constituency level.
This enables the Fund to achieve capacity building at a high level.
2. Market Support and Linkages
Market support is critical for the growth and overall success of women-owned enterprises in Kenya.
Many businesses with immense potential have failed due to the inability to access the right markets for their products and services.
Two of the Fund’s primary obligations endeavours to support women-owned enterprises as follows;
- Facilitating and supporting small women-owned enterprises to develop linkages with large established enterprises/institutions for business and mentorship and
- Promoting the marketing of products and services of women-owned enterprises in domestic, regional and international markets.
The Fund has employed the following strategies to achieve this. They include;
- Organising and participating in organised marketing events such as trade fairs, exhibitions, conventions/conferences, and roadshows. These marketing events are mainly within Kenya, and they offer the entrepreneurs with an opportunity to network, showcase and market their products.
- Facilitating market linkages between small women-owned enterprises with large established private enterprises or government institutions for business and mentorship. Under these partnerships, the women entrepreneurs are assisted to learn as well as trade with the established enterprise or institution. The linkages take such forms as subcontracting, outsourcing, sale to government, franchising and business mentorship/business development training.
3. LPO Financing
This is a product tailored to serve women by increasing their capacity to respond and adequately service tenders thus meeting supply requirements.
The loan will be available to individual women owning enterprises or women-owned companies
Eligibility criteria for LPO financing
- A company must be registered with the relevant government body
- For companies, groups and partnerships membership composition must be at least 70% women and 30% men (or 100% women)
- A valid Local Purchase Order/Local Service Order duly signed and stamped by the procuring entity, i.e. public institutions (listed in the public procurement and disposal Act)
- The maximum amount available for this loan is Kshs. 2 Million per individual borrowing
- Duly signed Letter of Undertaking and acceptable collateral as per Fund’s Credit Policy. Acceptable collateral are bank guarantee, shares or motor vehicle
- Customer account details
- A one-off administration fee of 5% of the loan amount
- Tenure of 90 days
- Certified copy of the letter by the supplier (loanee) to the procuring entity requesting payment through Women Enterprise Fund
- Amount financed is 60% of the LPO amount
4. Bid Bond Financing
Tendre security/ bid bonds
The Fund has initiated the tender security/bid bond product to aid women in Kenya in achieving requirements of the tendering process.
This is a product that is available to individual women who may own enterprises or women-owned companies.
The bid bonds will be issued at WEF head office, i.e. Social Security House 12th Floor Eastern Wing Block A.
Related: How to Access Youth Fund Loan in Kenya.
The bid bonds are currently being offered to women within Nairobi county and its outskirts.
The application process is as below:
- Filling of bid bond application form
- Payment of the commission (original bank slip required)
- Borrower to sign indemnity terms and conditions (as will be in the application form)
- Issuance of bid/tender security The terms and conditions for the bid bonds is as shown below
Minimum amount Kshs.50,000
Maximum amount Kshs.2,000,000
Discount margin (Loan to value) N/A
Validity/Maximum tenor As will be specified in the tender
Interest rate N/A
Commitment/Processing fee Commission of 1% of the guaranteed amount
subject to a minimum of Kshs. 1,000
Credit Reference Bureau Clean Report
This provision targets the following public procuring entities as defined in the public procurement and disposal act: Government ministries, SAGAs, public schools, county governments, the Judiciary, National Assembly and public hospitals.
See also: Uwezo Fund Registration and Application.
The commission for the bid bond can be paid through KCB collection account no. 1111394423 and MPESA using pay bill 830800 Account Number: 340000301
Women Enterprise Fund – Loan Repayment
Women Enterprise Fund has partnered with Safaricom Limited to provide a more comfortable, faster, efficient and secure loan repayment method through the use of M-PESA Women Enterprise Fund business number is 830800.
30% of Procurement services
The Fund seeks to create awareness of the 30% procurement opportunities and ensure that these opportunities are available to women.
There have been conscientious efforts to ensure that women throughout the country are trained on the 30% procurement process and access to government procurement opportunities.
The Fund has further set aside 30% of its procurement opportunities for women.
You may also like: How to Apply for the Kenya Education Fund Scholarship.
The Fund’s Pre-qualification of suppliers allows for entities owned by women to be given preference when any procurement opportunities arise.
Women Enterprise Fund Contacts
NSSF Building, Block A,
Eastern Wing, 11th Floor.
P.O. Box 17126-00100 Nairobi, Kenya.
Telephone: Cell: +254 0714606845-6Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.