The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and DHL Express have launched HerVenture, a business skills training mobile app for women entrepreneurs, in Kenya.
The Mobile app will be used as an avenue to help women entrepreneurs in Kenya, across the African continent and globally, to digitise their businesses and position them to thrive in the new digital world during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is drastically changing the way we live and work and pushing us further into a digital world. To survive, many businesses across the world find that they too must move online. In emerging economies, mobile technology is proving to be a lifeline for small businesses, but not everyone is ready to embrace the new digital reality,” said Cherie Blair CBE QC, Founder, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.
Kenya will be the second African Country after Nigeria to benefit from the availability of HerVenture following a needs assessment conducted in 2019.The app will come with a new e-commerce learning track to support women entrepreneurs with business digitisation through COVID-19 and will aim to reach 10,000 women entrepreneurs in Kenya.
“Investing in women entrepreneurs plays a crucial role in supporting Kenya’s 2030 vision of becoming a middle income nation by 2030. 49% of micro and small businesses are women owned which is more than in any other East African country and yet women own only 9% of medium sized enterprises. ,” said Professor Margret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary for the Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs.
She added that lack of adequate training programmes and information, problems accessing finance and restrictive socio-cultural norms are limiting the success of women’s businesses in Kenya.
Sub-Saharan African economies lose nearly $100 billion (Ksh10 trillion) a year because of the gender gap in the labour market.
HerVenture will be available to Kenyan women entrepreneurs on Android through the Google Play Store. The app’s content is provided in bite-sized, easy to understand formats such as swipe-able cards, quizzes and videos. Static content can also be accessed offline. The app will allow users to find and connect with each other, as well as learn about local business events. So far, since its launch in 2018, HerVenture has been downloaded by and provided training to over 23,000 women.