How KEBS Is Supporting Women In Manufacturing & Processing To Meet Industry Standards
Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is looking to increase funds in the manufacturing and processing sector, an amount the regulatory body says continues to increase as the number of SMEs venturing into the sector rises.
KEBS is now supporting women in SMEs through a partnership with the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) in a bid to improve the quality of their products. Through collaboration, women will be receiving technical training on standardizing their products to meet industry standards. Once the products are standardized the women are eligible to apply for certification, which the Fund pays a subsidized rate of Kshs. 5,800. As a result, their products will qualify for the KEBS Diamond mark of quality, and with links from both institutions, the women will access both local and international markets.
The funding cuts across numerous ventures including vegetable oil processing, soap and detergents making, water purification and bottling, yoghurt processing, aquarium making for sale, honey processing, making of hides and skins products, processing of horticultural produce, making of construction materials e.g. tiles and bricks making, ventilation blocks, milk processing and welding.
Earlier in the year, WEF and Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa Limited (CEWA Ltd) announced that a further 285,000 Kenyan women will be empowered in their joint economic empowerment program. Participants in the program receive business skills training, financial services, as well as access to peer networks through a business club for mentoring and ideas sharing. In 2018, the initiative empowered 161,000 Kenyan women.
The agency has also partnered with other organizations including the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture to support the women enterprises and start-ups with the guidance needed to develop and grow their businesses.
The revelation comes as data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicate that women and youth comprise over 70% of our Kenya’s population but despite this, they have continued to face enormous and varied challenges in their pursuit of social-economic empowerment.