Commitment:  Equip 200 young women entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-35 with business management and entrepreneurship skills.
Location: Kisumu County, Kenya


Project Summary

80% of Kenyans live in rural areas, where unemployment is high and access to financial services limited. In Kisumu county, formal financial inclusion stands low at 25% in rural areas where women and youth are marginalized the most. Although a growing number of financial institutions are working to promote the growth of small businesses, most of their products are expensive, and small businesses often want small loans which aren’t profitable for them and therefore disregard the need to train small entrepreneurs, especially women on entrepreneurship. They do not lend to women for lack of entrepreneurial skills.  

There are many cyclical and structural problem which plague the development of entrepreneurship skills among young women in Kisumu county. They range from exclusionary social norms which prevent women from fully participating in economic activities, but which restrict women to performing only basic house chores. As a result, most young women lack essential entrepreneurship skills which they need to run income generating businesses, or to get employed by locally owned businesses. Although many women strive to run small businesses, the lack of entrepreneurship skills continue to plague the potential of their businesses to meet the market demands.

Small businesses such as salons, retail shops, fish sellers, and hand-craft are an important source of livelihood for many such women. Not only are they a pathway out of extreme poverty, but they also account for more than three quarters of jobs in Kisumu county. The larger population of Kisumu buy their daily needs from such small businesses.

It is absolutely clear, that lack of entrepreneurship skills is one of the main causes of financial exclusion and general disempowerment of young women in Kisumu county. To curb this challenge, the project will empower women between 18-35 years of age through training them on the skills and knowledge for managing a small business, mentorship and partnerships with local financial service providers and will enable them join a network of fellow entrepreneurs from whom they will continue to curate their businesses and financial management skills. The project also aims to empower the young women with digital skills which they will need to enable their current businesses to adapt to the quickly changing market conditions.


  • Training on entrepreneurship and soft skills for successful businesses.
  • Explore existing networks, business opportunities and financial instruments for business growth and expansion


  • Training of women groups
  • To connect women owned small businesses to a series of lenders that are part of their marketplaces.
  • Organize young women groups into business networking forum


Banks/MFIs, Insurance companies, Local Government, Universities, NGOs/CBOs, Telecommunication companies, media, Tech solutions providers,

Identified Partners

  • Kenya Women Finance Trust

  • Safaricom/Airtel

  • Kenya Commercial Bank/Equity/Barclays/Jamii Bora Bank

  • Lakehub & other tech companies.

  • Municipal council of Kisumu

  • County: Ministry of Industrialization

  • Office of the Women Representative

  • Chamber of commerce- Kisumu county


  • Women successfully trained on entrepreneurship skills, business plan development and soft skills.

  • Women  networking with different stakeholders i.e. banks, MFIs, insurance companies, as a result of the networking forum.

  • Women having business plans developed.

  • Women accessing formal financial services from the banks, MFIs, etc.

  • New women owned businesses initiated as a result of the entrepreneurship training.


about Jiwo Paro

Jiwo Paro was founded in 2016, with the principal purpose to promote financial inclusion through training on basic employability skills, and provision of working tools or capital for creation and expansion of women and youth owned businesses. “Jiwo Paro”, which means “Let’s do it together”, uses vocational training and microfinance as a means of ending poverty, in rural and underserved regions. As of November 2017, Jiwo Paro has trained over 806 women and 400 youths and facilitated acquire tools of the trade or startup capital to enable them start their own small businesses. The organization has issued over 400 micro loans leveraging the technical skills gained during the vocational training as pre-qualification for lending, which has enabled those who were previously excluded from the formal banking sector to access financial services.

Our vision is to create economic citizenship in Africa where women and youth in marginalized areas have access to finance and the benefits they deserve. Our mission is to provide the tools and skills to enable the poorest women and youth in sub-Saharan Africa to work their own way out of poverty.