Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to support female entrepreneurs, announcing a number of focal areas for the government aimed at alleviating bottlenecks to entrepreneurship in Kenya.
Speaking to female entrepreneurs yesterday at an event in the run up to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Kenyatta said female and young entrepreneurs are ideally placed to help achieve rapid growth in the Kenyan economy, and to tackle the socio-economic problems holding the country back. As such, the president pledged ongoing support to startup founders.
“In my part, it is just a continued pledge that we will continue to do everything that we can to create an enabling environment for women, for our young people and for all Kenyans to be able to achieve their dreams,” President Kenyatta said.
“We have the capacity to rapidly grow the economy of this country and you, the young people, are at the right place to do just that.”
Kenyatta said the government will work hard to remove the bottlenecks to entrepreneurship in Kenya, and outlined actions being taken aimed at supporting young entrepreneurs. These include the setting aside of a minimum of 30 per cent of government procurement for young entrepreneurs, streamlining the process of registering a business, and making it easier for those with skills and capital to create employment.
Responding to issues raised by attendees about the high cost of credit, the President said the government is working with the banking association to make bank loans affordable to young entrepreneurs.
“On our part, we will continue to listen to you and see how we can address some of the challenges you face in conducting your businesses. You can count on my total support and that of my Government,” Kenyatta said.
In particular, Kenyatta urged female entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and continue working hard, saying women have been critical in Kenya’s development.
“That is why some of the key officials of my Government are accomplished women, among them graduates of the most prestigious universities in the region and the world. That is why some of our captains of industry are women,” he said.
Disrupt Africa reported this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit is to be held in Nairobi – the first time the event will be hosted in Sub-Saharan Africa. US President Barack Obama is also due to attend.
Kenyatta encouraged female entrepreneurs to attend the event, and showcase Kenyan innovation.
“At that Summit, the world will come to us, and we will show our best face to the world. Come out, participate, and make the most of the event. The world is open to you,” the President said.