Increasing Access to Markets for Women-Owned Businesses: Sourcing2Equal Kenya

Sourcing2Equal is an IFC-led initiative, in partnership with the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and Norway, that aims to connect thousands of women entrepreneurs to new markets via corporate procurement.  Globally, less than one percent of procurement purchases made by large companies is earned by women-owned businesses.

Sourcing2Equal Kenya, launched in 2021, is the first country program under the Sourcing2Equal Global program that brings together 10 corporate buyers to make specific, measurable, and time-bound commitments to increase access to corporate procurement opportunities for women-owned small and medium enterprises (WSMEs). The program seeks to address barriers faced by both buyers and WSMEs.

Gender-Inclusive Sourcing

Women have less access to opportunities to win procurement contracts from corporate buyers. IFC research in Kenya found that buyers estimate roughly 3 percent of their procurement purchasing goes to WSMEs, and that women are more represented as sub-contractors supporting other business to fulfill their orders—instead of directly supplying to buyers.

Companies can address the gender imbalance in their supply chains by purchasing from more women, in other words, establishing gender-inclusive sourcing operations. Fixing the gender disparity in supply chains can help boost productivity, support sustainable business practices, and promote innovation for buyers.

Participating Companies

The buyers participating in Sourcing2Equal Kenya are drawn from financial markets, manufacturing, agriculture, services and infrastructure, and include Absa bank PlcEast African Breweries Limited (EABL), Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) PlcLine Plast GroupSafaricom PlcStanbic Bank Kenya LtdNaivas LtdUnilever Kenya LtdEast African Breweries Limited and Bamburi Cement Plc.

Women-Owned Small And Medium Enterprises (WSMEs)

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