Nairobi… Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Association (FEWA) founder, Ms. Joanne Mwangi – Yelbert has challenged women, entrepreneurs, to embrace innovations as the best and constructive way of changing the traditional way of carrying out business in Africa.
Speaking during FEWA Innovative Africa Breakfast Event, Ms. Mwangi said that women entrepreneurs have to tap resources channeled by the state towards innovations.
“As Kenya gears up towards the Vision 2030 aspirations, we need more women investors and innovators to drive our industrial and economic transformation. We need to grow our local value chains and increase linkages between large businesses, multilateral and SMEs to enhance inclusive and sustainable development, this can only be achieved by embracing innovations,” she said.
Entrepreneurship remains the best chance Kenya has to create enough jobs to sustain its increasing youthful population. It is estimated that Kenya will have 65 million people by 2030, of which over two thirds will be youth below 35 years. Currently, the youth unemployment rate stands at 17.5% (HDI 2017) and the private sector is only able to sustain 2.6 million formal jobs, creating less than 100 thousand new jobs compared to over 800,000 youth joining the market every year. This highlights the need to emphasize entrepreneurship to create more job opportunities hence liberate thousands of youth from the challenge of unemployment.
“This is even easier in this century given the level of technology that is there already. Kenya is well known globally as the home of the mobile money payment. This shows potential Kenya is having in the innovative space. It is still possible to leverage innovation across all the industries to maximize the country’s potential,” said Kenya Private Sector Alliance CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki.
Kenya is emerging as one of the top countries with the most Entrepreneurial talent and innovation in Africa. At position 80 on the Global Innovation Index, Kenya ranks 3rd in Africa and a number of innovators especially in the ICT sector have received Global recognition for unique products and solutions.
This shows potential Kenya has in the innovative space for both men and women. It is still possible to leverage innovation across all the industries to maximize the continent’s potential.
“We need to be innovative to gain a competitive edge in order to succeed in our businesses,” added Ms. Mwangi.