Eradicating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship: Yes We Can

G100 – Kenya Meetings, Nairobi 26 Feb – 1 Mar 2023     

G100 Philanthropy, Business and Poverty Eradication wing held meetings in Nairobi, Kenya in February and March 2023. These were instrumental in identifying initiatives and platforms that are useful in curbing the challenges experienced in the vulnerable demographics of poverty-stricken communities. 

The meeting was held mainly in Nairobi with a number of activities lined to include visiting a children’s, a women and children centre – meeting with potential collaborating partners such as Kingsway Group, the Malaysia High Commission in Kenya as well as launching the G100 Kenya Philanthropy, Business and Poverty Eradication attended by women leaders in Kenya. 

The meetings held with partners from different areas identified the potential collaborations that could in the short and long term, create sustainable models that would educate, train, uplift and empower women. One of the centres we visited already trains the women how to make soap which they in turn sell to the members of the church. This is a sustainable model that aims to uplift and empower women to be able to take care of basic needs in the home – feeding the family, school uniforms etc.

As country and region chairs came together with the global chair, the energy of “yes we can” ran high among all as the team set targets and strategy for a two-year plan. A two-year plan is a four-pronged approach and centres on programs, initiatives, partnerships and campaigns. Under the programs – the G100 Kenya PBPE collectively decided to focus on water, education and health. The partnerships would look at collaborating with partners in tree planting, borehole drilling and maternal health. The initiatives are geared toward skilled training programs between Kenya and Malaysia as well as a woman leadership entrepreneurship outreach. 

The main activities during the meetings were centred around community connections, business networking, philanthropic programmes, interacting with women and children in their home and school settings, and learning from the community about the imminent needs. The team visited a children’s home, Mama Fatuma Children’s Home, and a community centre, Kijiji Women’s Centre, to learn and understand their needs. In the children’s home, they learnt how it was run and where they needed assistance. The home had about 65 children ranging from three years to twenty-one years. They have been in existence since 1965 and have helped over 1,000 children. Their main concern was food, cleaning items and sanitary items for the girls. For the Kijiji Women’s centre, the focus was mostly on entrepreneurship.

The team also met decision-makers and policymakers including the Director of Kingsway group and the Malaysian Ambassador to Kenya. Kingsway group is a conglomerate of different companies including the village market mall, The tribe hotel and Trademark hotel. They discussed how to partner with the different philanthropic programs that are already run by the group. Some of the programs that were brought up were feeding the children in school and planting trees. The Kingsways group were already feeding about 300 school-going children and they wanted to expand the program. They were already in the process of constructing a bigger school where it can accommodate more children. They are also planning of planting one million trees to help with climate change. 

Other entities met included the Women in Business Under the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce, Tanya Martin Foundation, and the Organisation of Women in Trade (OWIT) Kenya

The meetings concluded with the soft launch of the G100 Kenya Women Business Leaders Breakfast meeting. The soft launch was attended by a diverse group of women including male support from different sectors and included women in business and trade, self-help groups, banking, agriculture, women’s wear, insurance, pharma, diplomatic, hospitality as well as philanthropy. During the launch, we announced the Denim Club Country Advisory Council Member for G100 Kenya Philanthropy, Business and Poverty Eradication Mr. James Mureu – who joined to support the initiatives we will be rolling out in the two-year period.

The delegates experienced the culture of Kenya with a tour of the self-help women and youth group for a cultural experience, the Nairobi National Park, and several traditional lunches over the 4 days agenda. They also enjoyed a bit of dancing with the Maasai Morans.

The experience left us even more convinced that we must do whatever we can to continue connecting women and girls to education and entrepreneurship opportunities. Together we can break the cycle of poverty with a positive mind and purposeful projects that build human capital with the spirit of equality, empathy and dignity. These women-led “micro small entrepreneurs” face higher risks of poverty. This is largely why entrepreneurship is so important in the fight against poverty — empowering women and young girls to improve their job and income stability is key – as a pathway out of poverty. Small entrepreneurship businesses can help alleviate poverty with programs and projects that aim to improve the living conditions in these communities. 

Finally, sisters in Kenya thanked the G100 PBPE Global Chair Datin Dr. Hartini Osman who took time out of her schedule to travel to Kenya and participate in our launch and also donate foodstuffs, sanitary, soap and cleaning items during her visit. And a special thanks to our G100 President Dr Harbeen Arora for her support always encouraging, empowering and contributing to our wings.

Convenor: Grateful regards to meetings convenor Catherine Omondi, Kenya Country Chair, G100 Philanthropy, Business and Poverty Eradication, led by the Global Chair and supported by the region chairs and council advisory council members in Kenya.