Female entrepreneurs are set to receive subsidized market certification services from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) in a bid to improve the quality of their products.
The standardization project will benefit over 13,500 women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises who have undergone training in preparation for the award from Kebs. It is also supported by the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF).
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 which allows them to access local and international markets.
“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,” said Charles Mwirigi, CEO Women Enterprise Fund.
“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,” added Mwirigi.
The Women Enterprise Fund has disbursed over Kshs 150 Mn to fund beneficiary businesses in the manufacturing and processing sector. It expects this number to grow significantly as the number of SME’s venturing into the manufacturing and processing 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,” a statement from WEF said.
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