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One UN on Gender in Kenya

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Promoting the participation and benefit of women-led Micro and Small Enterprises in public procurement

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Participants at the Winning in Tendering Training convened by JoYWo with technical and financial support from UN Women Kenya

UN Women in collaboration with the Joyful Women’s Organization (JoyWO) convened a two-day follow up capacity building forum for women led Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE’s) on public procurement. The training was held in Nairobi on 28th and 29th September 2015 with the key objective of the training being, to equip the women with practical skills and knowledge to fill out successful tenders; provide a platform for the women business owners to interact with government entities-that is buyers- as well as to provide a platform to network, share and learn from successful women entrepreneurs.  

The training thatbrought together over 80 women from Micro and Small Enterprises, was conducted using a range of approaches suitable for adult training such as practical demonstrations, testimonies, presentations and group/individual exercises.

Some of the main topics that were covered in detail included: introduction to e-procurement, understanding taxes and how to file tax returns, how to fill out a prequalification and standard tender forms and interactive discussion sessions between the public entities (buyers) and women vendors.

The training was highly successful and was an eye opener for many who were new to tendering and supplying to the public sector as well as those who have previous experience doing business with government. “I am going to employ and empower more women because when I empower a women, I empower a nation”, Janet Imali, Head of a Partnership that provides cleaning services stated after the training.

The Facilitator Ms. Jennefer Kamande, Chair of the Kenya Association of women Accountants (AWAK) showing participants how to file tax returns

The forum was the third round of training with members of JoYWO with the first two trainings held in June and November 2014 respectively.

Information collected from the participants during the workshops indicates that the trainings have had an impact on several fronts. For example, 24 women mentioned that when they attended the previous trainings, they did not have registered businesses at that time but since then, 18 had progressed and manged to formally register their businesses. Further, out of 43 women in the current training who reported to have registered businesses, 14 had also managed to acquire the AGPO certificate which is a prerequisite for trading with government under the 30 percent policy; Of those with AGPO certificates nearly all (12 out of 14 women) reported that they had been prequalified while four women had actually won government tenders. This was a great inspiration to the other women entrepreneurs who realized that APGO is a reality.

Learning by doing: Participants Mercy Mutisya and Freda Okello, learning to fill a standard tender form

Sarah Thuku one of the participants and an owner of Ltd Company which deals with construction, explained that one thing she would do differently after the training is encourage more women to get into construction which is a male dominated industry.

For further information on this initiative please contact Banu Khan, Programme Analyst, UN Women, Kenya; email:

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