This article presents vital lessons that have been learned from engaging and enrolling female entrepreneurs into an energy access project, in Kenya and Tanzania which is providing business and technology training and mentorship and support to access financing and market opportunities.
Although the aim is to work with female entrepreneurs, projects should consider engaging both women and men given the nature of how small family businesses are owned and operate. This will enhance harmony in the families and but also ensuring that women are able to make sound decisions for the business together with their partners. Men should also be involved as the energy products value chain involves both women and men for successful delivery of the products to the markets.
It is important for project implementers to have open mind to learn and adjust their approach in response to the situation in the target areas. The approach may be different from assumptions made during the design phase, but the adjustment will enable projects to have the greatest impact on the beneficiaries it supports whilst improving the assumptions for the design of future projects.