Meta has announced plans to train at least 3000 Kenyan women entrepreneurs with digital skills that will enable them build their businesses online.
The tech giant says the programme dubbed SheMeansBusiness will be implemented through a partnership with HerHustle -an organization that facilitates digital business growth programmes for young women – target women-owned businesses in Kenya.
SheMeansBusiness is anchored on Meta’s Global State of Small Business Report which revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on female-led businesses in Kenya.
“At Meta, we recognize that unlocking women’s potential will create a more resilient, inclusive, and equal society. We have introduced the SheMeansBusiness program because digital literacy is a major enabler for business growth and a critical tool for women entrepreneurs in these challenging times. That is why we are determined to help more women access the tools they need to turn their dreams into success stories,” said Mercy Ndegwa, Meta Director of Public Policy in East Africa.
The training will be delivered through instructor-led live webinars, short videos and infographics, covering topics like financial goals, financial health, financial services and digital technology, and how to manage a business in a crisis, the firm said.
Additionally, there will be a module on business financial reports, which are critical tools for businesses to access loans.
SheMeansBusiness aims to unlock women’s potential through two key modules namely; digital skills training and business resiliency / financial management tools to empower them to start and grow their business online through a series of digital marketing training, networking events, and resources.
The programme will also equip them to manage and sustain their businesses during a crisis.
SheMeansBusiness is also being implemented in South Africa, Nigeria, and Senegal, where over 40,000 women-led businesses have been trained.
Global State of Small Business Report points out that while the business impact of COVID-19 has varied depending on the industry, one group that has been hit particularly hard is women-owned small businesses.
The report indicates that female-led businesses were seven percentage points more likely to close due to the pandemic than male-led ones.
The report notes that in Kenya, restrictions put in place to mitigate against Covid19 have affected economic activities, with women facing greater economic vulnerability without social protection.