Business Women Support Program
Kianda Foundation has been running the ‘Business Women Support Program’ (BWSP) since 2003 targeting rural and peri-urban women. The aim of the project is to empower women through basic business training with the help of university students. The university students and other volunteers are trained in business and life skills to become instructors for the women economic empowerment course. Once they complete this training, they go to the respective villages to train the beneficiaries with the supervision of the project coordinators. Due to the life-skills component of the course and in order to encourage the women to speak freely, the recruited trainers are female.
The training module includes topics such as: saving and investment, starting a business, keeping basic business records, marketing, budgeting, and business plan writing. Training is done mainly in Kiswahili which is widely understood within the participating communities. The women select a training venue and time which is convenient for them. Each student takes charge of helping a small group of women to plan their own businesses. To date over 3000 women, have gone through this program. Most of the enterprises started by the women flourish with over 80% of them having more than doubled their monthly income 6 months after the training program.