A banking conference in Eldoret has revealed a disconnect between financial institutions and women entreprenuers venturing in manufacturing business.
It emerged during the conference that barriers exist to enable women access credit to run their businesses and ventures in the North Rift region, due to challenges such as illiteracy, lack of knowledge of existing financial products.
The workshop brought together women of various diversities from North Rift region, including women who are not formally educated and who wanted to gain knowledge on finances and banking for their businesses.
“We wanted to bring together financial institutions and women in manufacturing to find solutions for access to finance and credit via a knowledge sharing platform to see what women can do to make their businesses feasible for lending by financial institutions,” Sally Kahiu, Head Corporate Communications and Marketing at the Kenya Association of Manufacturers said.
Alfred Lagat, the Nandi County Executive Committee Member for Finance & Planning urged women to be confident and come out to seek information and apply for products meant to benefit and grow their businesses.
Lagat spoke on a panel at the Women in Manufacturing Bankability Conference on Thursday whose main objective was to increase the participation of women in manufacturing and bridge the gap between women and finances, which is the major challenge afflicting the sector.
“I urge all levels of government, and the business community, to tap into the available opportunities for women in manufacturing, in the entire North Rift Region,” Lagat said.
Among challenges cited include existing barriers between financial institutions and women on the ground where financial products offered by credit institutions do not speak to the needs of women in manufacturing.
Some of the products on offer are often too complex for comprehension, leading to women being left behind in terms of access to funds for their businesses and ventures.
Digital migration has also contributed to women being left behind, in as much as the solutions exist, the women may not have the capacity to access the solutions.
Participants at the conference cited difficulties in access to capital and finances for women in the manufacturing as the biggest gap to ensuring the full participation of women in the manufacturing sector.
Also in the panel included Stima Sacco Head of Marketing, Phyllis Maitha, RAMM Millers CEO, Racheal Miami and Kenya Power Supply Chain Officer, Lincoln Kagundu who took participants through the possible ways they can enhance their businesses and access finances.