Women seeking to play a more active role in the modern technology-driven economies as business goes digital will converge in Nairobi this week to explore more effective ways of empowering themselves to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
More than 300 delegates expected at the regional women entrepreneurship and innovation summit on October 11th and 12th will share ideas on how to unlock the economic and strategic potential in women entrepreneurs by addressing challenges like access to credit as well as restrictive policies.
The two-day summit will be held at the Boma Hotel. It brings together delegates from 30 African countries, including business leaders, managers and innovators as well as artists and opinion shapers from various sectors.
The key note speaker will be George Wachiuri, the founder and CEO of Optiven, a leading real estate company. Delegates deliberate on ways women can take a lead role in integrated and innovation led economies under the theme of, “Opportunity Countdown.”
Evelyn Kimathi, the CEO of Expodium Africa, which is organising the event, says there are many barriers to entrepreneurship for women. “A woman is facing twice the hurdles a man would have faced while establishing himself as an entrepreneur,” she said. “It is time we work towards creating enabling environment for women entrepreneurs.”
Ms Kimathi said gender equality is crucial to creating inclusive and sustainable economies and societies.
She said summit will develop a foundation for supporting female entrepreneurs by advocating measures to promote and improve access to finance, education, innovation, favourable government policies and networks.
Embracing technological innovation is expected to reshape women entrepreneurship in the current fast-paced world where businesses are becoming digitalised and work highly distributed and mobile. In most countries, women contribute at least 25% to the national GDP.
“With empowerment programs and support groups, African women can confront gender based attacks in all sectors of the economy. Africa is producing talented women entrepreneurs despite the odds and obstacles that impede their success in business,” says Ms Kimathi.