Obstacles to Women in Business in Kenya are common and a number of interventions have been made by donors and the Government.Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya are very essential to economic growth because of their capacity to generate employment. However most businesses owned by women could contribute more than their current worth. Significant research shows that countries that fail to address gender barriers are losing out on significant economic growth. Without increased attention to the gender dimensions of economic development, Kenya is therefore unlikely to meet its growth targets. This therefore demonstrates that addressing gender barriers in Kenya could generate significant economic growth for the country. The Kenyan government recognizes that Women in Business in Kenya have not been on an equal footing when it comes to their access to opportunities and assets but it has yet to effectively address the barriers facing women in business.
Obstacles to Women in Business in Kenya
Certain obstacles in the business environment cause Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya. The obstacles include;
- Lack of Property Rights,
- Poor Access to Justice.
- Inadequate Access to Finance,
- Managing Employees,
- Lack of Education,
- Dealing with the City Council.
Lack of Property Rights is one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya. It prevents business women from expanding their businesses. Women have a tendency to accept that they should not own property by themselves. They believe that it should be jointly owned. This lack of land and property is a significant barrier for Kenyan businesswomen. It translates directly into women’s inability to access bank financing when in need of loans for their business because of lack of collateral.
Poor Access to Justice as one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya
Poor access to justice is one of the Obstacles to Women in Business in Kenya Access to justice is essential for ensuring smooth business operations, and it spans issues such as enforcing contracts and employment disputes. Yet Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya have difficulties when accessing justice. Using the formal courts in Kenya can be costly, complex, and time consuming for entrepreneurs. For women who are burdened with their multiple responsibilities in the household and at work and who do not have the know-how to navigate the government process, dealing with the complicated and often corrupt bureaucracy is another reason for avoiding the process:
Inadequate Access to Credit as one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya
Inadequate access to credit is one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya. It is an issue because of requirements of collateral. In Kenya very few women own property and that makes it very difficult for women to provide collateral for banks. We have to look for different instruments to address access to finance issues for women, like mentoring them, helping them prepare proposals for bank funding, and even providing a guarantee for the banks.
Managing Employees as one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya
Managing employees is one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya. Finding and retaining good employees is essential for the success of a business, but can be difficult for women entrepreneurs in Kenya. Since businesses owned by women tend to be smaller, they are often less likely to provide job security and retain good talent in their employees. Some women find that they are not taken seriously by their employees, especially in non-traditional sectors, and they have to make a special effort to win their employees respect.
Lack of Education as one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya
Lower education is one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya. It puts Women in Business in Kenya at a disadvantage compared to men in business. Even though the gender gap in primary education in Kenya has decreased in recent couple of years which is a good thing, the gap remains high at secondary and tertiary education levels. Lower education does not mean that one has no entrepreneurship skills. It generally decreases the chances that women will have the knowledge needed to excel in business, and thereby contribute to the country’s overall economic growth.
Discrimination as one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya
Discrimination is one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya. Even though sometimes women entrepreneurs do approach banks for financing, they tend to face discrimination. Women report that bank officials tend to ignore them in meetings and prefer speaking to their husbands or male business partners. The fact that banks engage in gender bias prevents many women from even approaching them. Some women get so discouraged that they do not bother to seek bank financing and turn instead to informal savings groups in their community.
Dealing with the City Council as one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya
City Council is one of the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya. The licenses are too many and the cost too much for the average business woman. Being a woman seems to exaggerate that fact since most women are harassed by the city council officials when they come to inspect the business premises. Moreover, women may be less likely to meet and negotiate bribes with the predominantly male council officials. Business licensing is an issue for many women entrepreneurs who perceive the process as lengthy and complex
Further reading can be found in Business Training in Kenya
Conclusion on the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya
Women in Business in Kenya need to go for training programs in order to know how to run their businesses well.
Micro finance institutions should portray a non gender based environment in order to stimulate Women in Business in Kenya to do business with them.
City Council officials should refrain from harassing women in business.
Women in Business in Kenya should be taught on the value of being independent. This will stimulate them to do things on their own like acquiring property.
All this is about the Obstacles to Women In Business In Kenya