#BeAdVENTUROUS: How Kwangu-Kwako is building safer homes and a more equal society
EWB currently invests in 9 ventures, 5 of which are co-founded and led by women, including Kwangu-Kwako, Numida Technologies, FarmDrive, Bloom Impact and M-Shule.
Below, find out how Kwangu-Kwako is making a difference in Kenya’s informal settlements.
In Nairobi alone, 1.4 million people live in informal housing settlements – that’s 60% of the population of Kenya’s capital and largest city!
This is why Winnie Gitau co-founded a social enterprise called Kwangu-Kwako to build safer, simpler, and more cost-effective homes for Kenya’s informal housing settlements. The production process also creates stronger local economies and employment opportunities, including some non-traditional career options for women.
Many women entrepreneurs face systematic barriers in access to finance, which Canada’s DFI could help address.
“Building and construction is predominantly a male dominated sector both in terms of business ownership and clientele,” says Winnie. While male clients often prefer to speak to male employees, the venture has a diverse team of men and women with extensive knowledge and the ability to build customers’ trust. “What has worked well for me is having the confidence to speak in different venues in different styles, and to interact with customers so that they can get to know me, the business and have confidence in our product, regardless of my gender.”
Despite Winnie’s success, many women entrepreneurs like her face systematic barriers in access to finance, which Canada’s DFI could help address.
“Women entrepreneurs need better access to finance,” she says. “Many were employed and gained valuable experience before starting their business, and have well thought-out plans and ideas. They are a smart investment.”
Take action to support women-led ventures like Kwangu-Kwako!
Show your support for early-stage ventures, particularly those led by women – ask Canada’s Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne, to #BeAdVENTUROUS!