White House Initiative Invests in Kenyan Women

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

A young kenyan woman entrepreneur in her shop.
A young kenyan woman entrepreneur in her shop.
Irene Angwenyi/USAID

For Immediate Release

Monday, October 5, 2020
Kimberly Burns Case
+254 706 033 203

Today, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter and Acting Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) John Barsa highlighted three recently announced activities under the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative that partner with the private sector and invest in Kenyan women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses.  

“Women must be full participants and leaders in business for Kenya to reach its full economic potential. USA Marafiki recognizes that economic prosperity is essential to Kenya’s future and our top priority is supporting expanded trade and investment ties between our two countries. Women are a tremendous force in our economies and this program will give them the tools to access financial services, supporting our objectives under the W-GDP Initiative,” said Ambassador McCarter.  

With an investment of $3 million in W-GDP support, the new W-GDP Investing in Kenyan Women program will mobilize $30 million USD (3.2 billion KSH) in commercial investment and finance for women entrepreneurs in Kenya through USAID’s Kenya Investment Mechanism over the next three years. 

The other two activities represent powerful private sector partnerships that will work to empower Kenyan women. A global commitment of $5 million (542 million KSH) for the W-GDP Microsoft Women's Digital Inclusion Partnership will support Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which aims to significantly increase the number of women around the world with internet coverage by July 2022 by investing in locally-owned and operated internet and communications technology companies serving rural areas in five countries, including in Kenya. 

W-GDP support of $1.4 million (152 million KSH) for the W-GDP Partnership to Train Kenyan Women Entrepreneurs in Collaboration with UPS will help women in Kenya launch, fund, or scale their businesses and build their capacity with a focus on training, mentorship, investment, and direct connections to American small and medium enterprises.

USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa said, “Global prosperity will remain out of reach if we exclude half the population.  At USAID, we believe investment in women is key to unlocking human potential on a transformational scale.  The W-GDP Fund at USAID is financing innovative solutions to close the economic gap between women and men and help our partners advance on their Journeys to Self-Reliance.”

In addition to the program launched today, W-GDP is supporting Kenyan women through a number of activities to bridge barriers to digital access; enter traditionally male dominated fields such as the energy and water sectors; and train women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and form direct connections to American small and medium-enterprises.

For more information about the U.S. Government’s W-GDP Initiative, visit: www.wgdp.gov 

About The W-GDP Initiative

In February 2019, the White House established the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, the United States’ first whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment. W-GDP seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 by focusing on three pillars – Women Prospering in the Workforce, Women Succeeding as Entrepreneurs and Women Enabled in the Economy. W-GDP leverages a new innovative fund, scaling private-public partnerships which address the three pillars. In its first year alone, W-GDP programs reached 12 million women across the globe.