The annual ICT4D Conferences have proven to be an invaluable opportunity for NGOs, private sector organizations, universities, governmental agencies and foundations to share their experience in using ICT to increase the impact of development programs and to learn from each other.  In 2016, 715 individuals from 76 countries and 301 private sector and public sector and civil society explored the ways to harness the full power of digital solutions to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.  Our thanks to Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Inmarsat, IS Solutions, Making All Voices Count, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio, Qualcom Wireless Reach, RTI International, SimbaNet and World Vision for making that possible.

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Monday, May 16 • 14:00 - 14:45
Improving Market Access and Services for Small-Holder Farmers in Rural Kenya FULL

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Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) are perceived as the engine of growth in Kenya yet face formidable constraints that hinder them from realizing their potential. The sector generates employment opportunities, provides goods and services and steers competition and innovation. According to a 2013 study conducted by the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA); MSEs comprise about 75 % of all businesses, employ 4.6 million people (30% of the workforce), accounts for 87% of new jobs created and contributes 18.4 % of the GDP.

In Kenya, majority of the MSEs are agricultural based and women control over 80 % of the total labor in the agriculture sector. A 2010 survey funded by the World Bank revealed that the greatest barrier facing women entrepreneurs in Kenya is access to finance and is an issue because of requirements of collateral. In Kenya only 1% of women own property and that makes it very difficult for women to provide collateral for banks. Most women who venture into businesses in the rural areas and need financing lack the needed collateral to enable them secure bank loans. Further, majority of them are unbanked hence do not have historical financial information significant for securing credit services. Finance is the backbone of MSEs and any other business enterprise. These enterprises need finance to start up, expand, diversify and to sustain their day-to-day operations. Without finance, no one business enterprise can achieve its objectives.

Opportunity: Recognizing the critical role small businesses play in the Kenyan economy, the government through Kenya Vision 2030 envisages the strengthening of MSEs to become the key industries of tomorrow by improving their productivity and innovation. Further, Kenya's new Constitution focuses on giving women equal rights. It gives women property rights by calling for elimination of gender discrimination in law, customs and practices related to land and property in land. It gives married women a presumption of joint ownership of matrimonial property, defined as any property that is owned or leased by one or both spouses during the marriage and occupied by the spouses as their family home. It also protects women's interests in land, putting the onus on purchasers, lenders, and registrars to ensure that women have consented to the sale or mortgage of land in which they have an interest. Despite the adoption of the new land legislation, women operating MSEs still cannot access finance.

avatar for Joseph Waruingi

Joseph Waruingi

Managing Director, Advantech Consulting Ltd
I am a senior business leader with demonstrable ability and experience of working on strategic change projects with boards and senior management. I lead the strategy and business development functions of our business. Under my stewardship the business has grown its Sub Saharan African... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 14:00 - 14:45 EAT
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