Meta has announced its partnership with HerHustle to launch ‘SheMeansBusiness’, a program designed to equip women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and digital skills they require to build and grow their businesses online.
The program aims to train over 3,000 women-owned businesses in Kenya following Meta’s Global State of Small Business Report that revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on female-led businesses in the Country.
According to Meta, the program will be implemented by HerHustle, an organization that facilitates digital business growth programs for young women. The training will be delivered through instructor-led live webinars, short videos and infographics, covering topics like financial goals, financial health, financial services and digital technology, and how to manage a business in a crisis. There is also a module on business financial reports, which are critical tools for businesses to access loans.
Commenting about the program, Meta’s Director of Public Policy in East Africa Mercy Ndegwa said, “At Meta, we recognize that unlocking women’s potential will create a more resilient, inclusive, and equal society. We have introduced the SheMeansBusiness program because digital literacy is a major enabler for business growth and a critical tool for women entrepreneurs in these challenging times. That is why we are determined to help more women access the tools they need to turn their dreams into success stories,”.
SheMeansBusiness aims to unlock women’s potential through two key modules namely, digital skills training and business resiliency / financial management tools to empower them to start and grow their business online through a series of digital marketing training, networking events, and resources. It will also equip them to manage and sustain their businesses during a crisis.
Over the last five years, SheMeansBusiness has grown into a global program for women entrepreneurs. In Africa, it is being implemented in South Africa, Nigeria, and Senegal, where over 40,000 women-led businesses have been trained. It has proved to be a strong effort by Meta in empowering women entrepreneurs and has been acknowledged by many women-business owners to be beneficial in growing their businesses.
Meta recently released Global State of Small Business Report points out that while the business impact of COVID-19 has varied depending on the industry, one group that has been hit particularly hard is women-owned small businesses. The report indicates that female-led businesses were seven percentage points more likely to close due to the pandemic than male-led ones.
In the case of Kenya, the report notes that restrictions put in place to mitigate against Covid19 have affected economic activities, with women facing greater economic vulnerability without social protection While most measures taken to restrict movements in Kenya have been removed, they have had a huge impact on various sectors of the economy which has left most women-led businesses adversely affected.