On 11th of May I was up in the wee-hours to catch the 6am flight to Kisumu… My very first time to Western Kenya so I was quite excited to not only meet the Women that I heard so much about but to explore a place that I’ve been looking forward to visiting for quite some time now.
Which women was I visiting you ask? Allow me to backtrack a bit to why I was heading there in the first place.
You see Globally more than 2.5 billion people lack access to modern energy even though it remains a key driver for growth. Unexploited opportunities and barriers exist in the energy sector affecting access to and delivery of appropriate energy services, thus preventing vulnerable people from securing their livelihoods. So herein comes ENERGIA’S Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme (WE) Works with women entrepreneurs to become successful business owners, energy service providers and even leaders in their communities.
However the way to become an empowered entrepreneur is not a one way road to success it takes time, facing challenges and learning from mistakes, which is expected in entrepreneurship as I’m currently discovering, so it was quite encouraging to know that the program travels along with them providing training, technical advice and hand held support.
This is dubbed the “Empowerment Journey” By targeting women, who occupy the lower end of the energy value chains, the initiative impacts a wide range of small scale entrepreneurs and move people up the energy ladder by providing them with relevant technical skills and tools they require.
In Kenya this initiative is called Women In Energy Enterprises in Kenya hence WEEK, which is being implemented by Practical Action in partnership with sustainable community Development Services and is working with Women entrepreneurs in Kenya across value chains, namely; Improved Cook Stoves, Solar home lighting and portable systems and biomass briquettes.
Now that you know why I was in Kisumu last week, my next blog will feature the first woman entrepreneur I met called Bibiana who specializes in Improved Cooking Stoves… You’ll get to understand why #SheWorksForWEEWorks is the ideal tag for this Powerful Series.
Pictured below is Me and Bibiana at her homestead in Siaya where she makes the improved Cook Stoves.