NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – 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 digitize their businesses and position them to thrive in the new digital world during the pandemic.
The application was launched with an exclusive virtual launch event that was attended by Cherie Blair and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for the Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Professor Margret Kobia.
“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.
“GSMA’s Mobile Gender Gap Report 2020 shows that women are still less likely to have the access or skills to use it to adapt their business, but if they don’t access support now, they face losing their businesses altogether, which stands to have severe knock-on impacts on families, communities and economies,” she added.
The app is currently available in Vietnam, Indonesia, Nigeria, and now, to Kenya.
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.
“We are delighted to continue to support the enormous contributions that women entrepreneurs make to their communities and economies, in Kenya and beyond, and help steer towards a more equal, secure and prosperous future,” said Kobia.
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.The government is working towards improving and empowering women through platforms such as HerVenture and the Women Enterprise Fund to ensure that their needs are met through flexible support to overcome these challenges.
Sub-Saharan African economies lose nearly $100 billion a year because of the gender gap in the labour market. However, if businesses come together to support women entrepreneurs in response to this pandemic, we can take this as an opportunity to rebuild economies.
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, with huge benefits to local communities and economies, which is set to be scaled within Kenya.