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No. 49 • July - December 2009 • Page 343
 •  Initiatives

Nairobi, Kenya -- Help for women entrepreneurs

Since 1961, Kianda Foundation has been assisting the spiritual, cultural and professional development of women in Kenya. One of its activities involves helping women to plan and operate a small business that will enable them to escape from severe poverty. Thanks to this foundation, many women now live with their families in more human conditions.

In 2009 another step was taken. Kianda selected those who showed the most determination and ability and attempted to put them into contact with entrepreneurs who could transmit to them their experience and give personalized advice. For this purpose, four European professional women came to Nairobi on August 4th and visited the small businesses (often a small shop or café) operated by the Kenyan women. Days of intense work followed in which they studied all aspects of the business, its possibilities, the markets, etc.

After a study by both parties, plans for improvement were proposed in regard to the financial prospects of the business, profitability, marketing, possibilities of growth, changes in management, etc. A report was prepared for each of them in which all the ideas and plans worked out jointly were included. Three months later, in November, the first follow-up was made, via e-mail, and the results have been very positive. The four professional women who came from Europe are deeply gratified. For them it was a wonderful lesson in confronting the great difficulties and lack of financial means faced by so many African women.

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