DHL, Cherie Blair aim to empower Kenya’s female digital entrepreneurs
Women-led SMEs stand to benefit from a DHL-backed e-commerce application, HerVentures, to expand their digital businesses.
HerVentures, founded by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, was established to support female entrepreneurs in Kenya and encourage networking with peers across the various emerging markets.
Professor Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary for the Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, said the initiative will help women gain a footing in e-commerce, locally and globally.
Kobia added that the increase in smartphone ownership by younger, entrepreneurial women creates an environment that is conducive for them to take advantage of emerging technology.
“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.”
According to Cherie Blair Foundation, the application was launched in 2018 and has approximately 25,000 SMEs as clients,from Vietnam, Indonesia and Nigeria. It plans to target at least 10,000 users in Kenya.
Foundation founder Cherie Blair CBE QC said, “Where there is disruption, there is also opportunity. Issues facing women entrepreneurs at this time are complex and interconnected but through collaboration and new partnerships across sectors and geographies, solutions can be found to help them thrive. The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s HerVenture mobile learning app has been developed specifically for women who own small and medium enterprises in low and middle-income countries.”
Blair said that the new normal precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to change their mode of trade with e-commerce being the preferred route. Delivery companies are also set to benefit from the last-mile deliveries.