Financial Inclusion
for Women-led Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated structural, political, and social barriers that women face across the African continent (and beyond). Women business leaders, in particular, have faced significant challenges during this period. As businesses have shuttered and incomes have declined – or ceased altogether – women in East Africa are at increased risk for further trauma and falling into poverty. Women entrepreneurs who have been able to maintain their businesses are struggling with navigating the shifting environment, trying to keep their workers employed, and accessing financial support and capital to keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic.

Funded by the International Foundation, B Lab Africa ran a Capacity Building Program on Financial Literacy skills to reach at least 50 Women founders and leaders of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Social Enterprises and community groups in Kenya – Kisumu, Machakos, Mombasa, and Murang’a counties. The program aimed to equip women leaders with skills and tools for them to rebuild their enterprises and use the resources at hand

to solve societal and environmental concerns within their communities.

In partnership with Close the Gap in Mombasa, LakeHub in Kisumu, Ubunifu Hubs in Machakos and Murang’a University of Technology in Murang’a, B Lab East Africa implemented this program which included a one-day workshop in each of the four counties; followed by coaching on the following critical financial and business operations topics:

  1. Budgeting
  2. Reserve Funds
  3. Cash Flow Management
  4. Access to Capital
  5. Impact Business Models

Through this program, participants developed good business practices: processes and structures in good governance, improved efficiency & operations, reduced wastage of resources, increased profit and aid in access to finances. This in return helped make their businesses more resilient, and helped to alleviate poverty, and provide a decent living standard to the community where the businesses hire and source from.

Now is the time to urgently and intentionally shift our global economy to an inclusive economic system that works for all.

Women trained

increase in gross income by the end of 2022

women created a budget for their businesses by the end of 2021

women created a Profit & Loss statement by the end of 2021

women with 1 - 10 employees at the end of the training

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Our mission is to accelerate a shift in how business is done in Africa. To redefine business success as not just for profit but also for a purpose. To encourage businesses to work for a positive impact for all stakeholders: workers, customers, community and the environment