The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) sets to provide subsidized market certification services for female entrepreneurs in order to improve the quality of their products. This project will advantage more than 13,500 women-owned SMEs who have participated in preparation training for the award initiated by Kebs which also supported by the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF).
The women are required to apply for certification once the products are standardized. Meanwhile, the Fund pays a subsidized rate of Ksh 5,800 so that their products are qualified for the KEBS Diamond mark of quality, allowing them to get access to both local and international markets.
Charles Mwirigi, CEO Women Enterprise Fund, said: “A key mandate for WEF is to provide business support services including linkages for the women entrepreneurs to improve on the quality of their products and access markets. This was one of several strategic partnerships we have entered into to support our beneficiaries.”
“Over the last 5 years, our beneficiaries have benefited from this partnership which has enabled them to improve their products to industry standards. This includes handling, product quality, packaging, and preservation,” Mwagiri added.
Overall, the WEF has spent more than Ksh 150 million to fund businesses in the manufacturing and processing sector. The number is expected to keep growing significantly since there is an increasing number of SMEs venturing into the sector.
“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,” said WEF in a statement.