NAIROBI, Sept 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Raising start-up capital is one of the biggest challenges for women entrepreneurs in Kenya’s key manufacturing sector, with banks requiring collateral that most of them do not have, a study said on Tuesday.
Manufacturing contributes about 10% of Kenya’s gross domestic product but women account for only 17% of the sector’s workforce, according to the study by the International Centre for Research on Women and Kenya Association of Manufacturers.
Most women work or run businesses in the informal economy, and face numerous difficulties including pay and promotion disparities as well as obstacles in accessing information, technology and finance to expand their enterprises.
“While government initiatives encourage enterprise development, most respondents reported difficulties in accessing those funds. Instances of sexual exploitation in exchange for credit facilities and compliance clearances were mentioned,” the report said.
As a result, most