REMARKS BY ANNE MUTAHI DURING THE FLAGGING OFF OF WOMEN ENTREPRENUERS TO ATTEND THE DAR ES SALAAM INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR FROM JUNE 28TH TO JULY 8TH 2012.
I am delighted and honoured to welcome all of you to this important function of sending off our sisters to attend the 36th edition of the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair. This year’s theme of “expand your business horizon” underscores the ambition of every entrepreneur on increasing their market share.
From the onset, I wish to recognize our most valuable partner, Export promotion Council (EPC), without whose support we would not be here today.
Time and again, turning our dreams into reality has meant finding somebody else to share that faith; somebody to give an entrepreneur with a dream - not a hand out, but a hand up.
This evening, we celebrate the fact that the government has realized the potential of women in the economic development of nations and saw it fit to increase the allocation of Funds to our institution and this will go a long way in increasing the support that goes to women-owned businesses. To date the Fund has been able to extend credit to over 561761women amounting to Kshs.2.45B. In the area of training, the Fund has trained 60000 women on entrepreneurship. The Fund has also sensitized 4,200 women in cooperatives, while another over 700 women entrepreneurs have been sensitized on product certification. The Fund is indeed changing lives for the better. Businesses are growing, children are going to school, women are employed and are putting food on the table. Therefore we are slowly but surely winning the war against poverty, ignorance and disease.
The Fund’s job is to use the resources available to unlock the potential that exists inside every single woman and every business. It's a belief that has helped us come this far and we are proud of each one of you, because without you we would not achieve our mandates. We appoint you as the ambassadors of the Fund and the country at large because we believe in you and expect you to create as many networks as possible and in turn share the knowledge with the others who did not get the opportunity to enjoy this support.
I believe there is no power greater than the power of dreams and ideas in this room today. Your dreams are not only the engine behind the Kenyan economy today, but the essence of the WEF Dream.
Dar es Salaam international trade fair (DITF)
The DITF will offer you an excellent opportunity to enlarge, consolidate and diversify your market internationally and the neighboring countries especially with the coming into force of the customs union and the common market protocol within the boundaries of East African community. You will also have a chance to test market the products you have been developing and improving during the successful trainings conducted under the WEF/EPC partnership.
Participating in DITF is the climax of a long journey that commenced in 2011 with profiling of groups and assessing their export readiness. It is from this exercise that your potential was identified and harnessed through the export trade trainings that you have been undergoing.
I’m delighted this evening to appreciate your zeal and tireless efforts to venture into international markets. This opportunity will open a new chapter in your business through deepening and strengthening your brands. It will also consolidate Kenya’s market share and presence as well as build on the gains made in the past market development activities in the trade fair. Specifically, the Fair will offer opportunities for establishing business to business linkages, secure business deals, understand the buyer requirements and emerging market trends in the international market including competition landscape.
I wish to state that the partnership has made great strides milestones because of the commitment from both parties – WEF and EPC through their Board of Directors and staff.
To achieve even greater success, I would urge all the participants to be agents of change by capacity building other women on the new knowledge and skills learnt.
As I conclude my remarks I wish to challenge you to ensure proper utilization of the opportunity through maximizing your sales and generating new orders.
Thank you for your attention, I wish you great success in this event.
With these few words, I now have the honour to now officially flag off the team.