The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry held its first women in business forum under the leadership of Chamber President Richard Ngatia in a Nairobi hotel. The event which saw the attendance of women representatives from twenty-three counties focused on various banking products customized for women entrepreneurs including the recently launch Stawi product by the Kenya Bankers Association.

Speaking during the event Ministry of Youth and Gender Affairs chief administrative secretary Rachel Shebesh urged women entrepreneurs to explore opportunities under the government’s access to government procurement opportunities programme. She added that under the programme women and the youth stand to gain access over 500 billion shillings hence the importance of the partnership between the Chamber and the Kenya Bankers Association as it would help them fund any orders. Shebesh also said the government was in the process of writing to credit reference bureaus to delist companies and individuals who had been listed as a result of delayed payment by the government and its agencies.

Chamber President Richard Ngatia highlighted improved relations between KNCCI and development partners especially envoys during the past 100 days with 22 ambassadors and high commissioners having paid him a courtesy visit since June. He also announced that the construction of a SME repository center in partnership with Sidian Bank was nearing completion and would act as an information center.

He added that the Chamber was working with women and youth through capacity building and training to ensure that they can deliver on AGPO. He further revealed that the Chamber is in discussions with the Kenya Revenue Authority so that startups under three years can receive a tax amnesty while mentoring them over the same period.