Are Women Really Benefiting From Public Procurement Opportunities?

Are Women Really Benefiting From Public Procurement Opportunities?

REPORT |

Are the Youth and Women Really Benefiting from Public Procurement Opportunities?

In the last 15 months, According to the AGPO REPORT launched by The Institute of Social Accountability (TISA) on the 30th of March 2023 – Women received 50% of the Contracts Awarded (13078) – with its total value being Ksh. 13.81 Billion (US$. 0.1381 Mn). The Youth received 44% of the Contracts Awarded (10411) – with its total value being Ksh. 10.65 Billion (US$. 0.1065 Mn). PWDs received 6% of the Contracts Awarded (1789) – with it’s total value being Ksh. 2 Billion (US$. 0.02 Mn)

The proportion and value of government contracts awarded to women suppliers are still low. The Kenya Economic Survey report for instance notes that women received only 26 percent of the total amount of funds reserved in the 2019/2020 financial year (KNBS, 2020).

The report aims at identifying factors that keep women from accessing government procurement opportunities and measures instituted to overcome the barriers.

View the full report here:

Download Report →

Towards Gender Balance: Understanding the barriers and solutions to include women-led businesses in public procurement in East Africa.

Download Policy Brief →

Policy brief on understanding the barriers and solutions to include women-led businesses in public procurement in East Africa.
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Launch of the Towards Gender Balance Report by TISA During the Women in Business (WIB) International Women’s Day Event on 30th March 2023

 

The Institute of Social Accountability (TISA) on the 30th of March 2023 launched the Towards Gender Balance report during the International Womens Day event hosted by Women in Business (WIB) at the Golden Tulip Hotel.

The research aimed to improve the understanding of policies and practices that promote women-led businesses’ (WLBs) participation in public sector procurement. 

TISA members and Women Entrepreneurs at the Launch of the Towards Gender Balance Report. 

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Suzie Wokabi Founder and Brand Ambassador of Suzie Beauty

Suzie Wokabi Founder and Brand Ambassador of Suzie Beauty

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Suzie Wokabi is the founder and brand ambassador of SuzieBeauty, an award-winning beautypreneur, podcaster, consultant, speaker, and mentor.

Her career journey has primarily been in the beauty industry. She has played different roles in the fashion industry that include apparel, designer eyewear, and cosmetics.

Her first beauty job was in retail for brands like Clinique and MAC in the US. She, later on, ventured into makeup in Kenya and worked as a media make-up artist before starting her own beauty brand, Suzie Beauty.

She later graduated from being the CEO to CCO (Chief Creative Officer) by this time her brand was acquired in 2016.

“In the make-up artistry part of my beauty career, I had some great gigs, and the ones that stood out most were the MNet productions.”

She also took part in events such as Catwalk Kenya, Idols, Face of Africa, The Patricia Show, and of course Tusker Project Fame.

There were some awesome runway shows/ productions I was involved in through the years, such as FAFA, Hub of Africa Fashion Week in Ethiopia, among many others”.

One of the key Lessons I have learnt is to do what I know how to do best, and invest in the rest. I can’t do everything and shouldn’t have to bother! There are professionals in fields that I do not excel in, and I need them to do what they do best in order to grow in the right direction” ~Suzie Wokabi

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The key drivers of her success.

 

She believes progress is a daily process, she went from being an entry-level job worker to a freelance make-up artist to a product development manager to a media make-up artist, and finally an entrepreneur.

Her passion is the key to her growth in the beauty industry. She loves what she does and insists on achieving what she wants.

Her purpose is to be an instrumental contributor to the growth of the African beauty industry and in beauty consultancy.

In business, she has successfully produced and launched various beauty products.

“I also have highlights like my brand acquisition which was very helpful to the survival and growth of the brand, and very importantly, my many awards nominations and wins (36 to date!)”

She believes the accolades always stood as a stamp of appreciation and recognition of her hard work and she does not take them for granted.

 “Public speaking has never been something I thought I could or would do. As the PR for SuzieBeauty, I would be interviewed a lot by the press, and end up being asked to speak on stage, locally and internationally. I have become better and more comfortable with it through the years, met some amazing people, and traveled the world because of this!”

What I would tell my younger self. Do you, booboo! Haha… Keep being unafraid to take plunges. Keep rolling with the punches. Keep staying strong, keep thinking massive!

~ Suzie Wokabi

Her tips for success for entrepreneurs and the youth

 

One of the key lessons I have learned is to do what I know how to do best and invest in the rest. I can’t do everything and shouldn’t have to bother! There are professionals in fields that I do not excel in, and I need them to do what they do best in order to grow in the right direction”.

 “Failing is inevitable – that has happened. Getting up, dusting myself off, and keep going –as long as I learn from it and use the lessons wisely, I’m good to go!

Her support system has been vital. “My husband, parents, and a few good friends who held my hand close through the years have been my greatest cheerleaders“.

Her decision to start SuzieBeauty was a key one, to revolutionize the Kenyan beauty landscape.

She believes for one to thrive successfully in a career, you require passion, patience and perseverance.

 “What I would tell my younger self . Do you, booboo! Haha… Keep being unafraid to take plunges. Keep rolling with the punches. Keep staying strong, keep thinking massive!”

My advice to the youth in Kenya and Africa is,  “Africa it’s not the next frontier; it is THE frontier.” You’re in the best place at the best time. Everything is ripe for the picking, so take the dive and let’s keep building this beautiful continent and taking it to the global map!

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Paylend Africa, Eliutherius Juma’s Inspiring Entrepreneurship Journey

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Eliutherius Juma is the Co-founder and CEO of Paylend, an innovative fintech company in Africa, with a background in software engineering and marketing.

His career started while working gigs at a marketing agency, at that time he was completing his studies in BSc in computer science and an BBA in marketing. Later on, he ventured fully into software development.

While pursuing his career, he met Bendon Mugor who later took the role of a mentor while he worked for him as an intern at his consulting company.

With the demands of a startup company and limited resources, Eliutherius had to assume multiple roles within the company. This necessity accelerated the growth of his skills in different managerial and technical positions.

“I transitioned from a hands-on software developer to lead developer, then chief technology officer, and currently I’m the CEO of the company.” ~Eliutherius Juma

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The key drivers of his success.

 

He believes one of the keys to growth is to always be a learner and to be self-driven in your pursuits.

“In my entrepreneurial journey, I have experienced multiple failures that informed me that I need to take a different route,” he says.

Mr. Juma’s biggest lesson within the innovation space is to always focus on the person you are building solutions for.

“Most people will notice a problem within the market and go ahead to build the solution for six months without consulting the end consumer,” he says. This was me then. The lesson here is if you want to stand out from the rest, you must engage your target client as early as possible in the solution-building process.”

His first mentor, Bendon Mugor, played a crucial role in his career journey. Additionally, John Kamara, the CEO & co-founder of Adamian labs, was key in nurturing his career and business growth.

“We literally had sessions where he took me through practical business management and strategizing from a high management level perspective,” he recalls.

At one point Eliutherius was in a dilemma on making decisions, however, the decision he made and one he does not regret making is sticking to doing what he believed in.

“What I would tell my younger self is to believe in myself and take every day as an opportunity to learn something new.”

“Most people will notice a problem within the market and go ahead to build the solution for six months without consulting the end consumer. The lesson here is if you want to stand out from the rest, you must engage your target client as early as possible in the solution-building process.” ~ Eliutherius Juma

His tips for success for entrepreneurs and the youth

 

His top tips to create, sustain and scale success are…

  1. Resilience
  2. Sacrifice
  3. Excellence

Eliutherius’ advice to the youth in Kenya and across Africa, is to seize opportunities around them, to be innovative, and to believe in themselves. A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

 

He enjoys swimming and painting whenever off duty.

 

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Ann Mwenja, An Entrepreneur Who Offers Free Makeup Workshops to the Community, A Mentor and Counselor to the Youth

Ann Mwenja, An Entrepreneur Who Offers Free Makeup Workshops to the Community, A Mentor and Counselor to the Youth

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My most memorable day in my career was when I did makeup for Awilo Longomba for his music video. It was a breath taking moment for me because I never thought I would.

My name is Ann Mwenja, a born-again Christian, and a makeup artist.

I have been in the makeup industry for five years. I have been nominated for several awards and was able to win one award, which was the Hola awards makeup artists 2019.

I do makeup as a way to evangelize and win souls for Christ. I have authored one book titled Unbroken.

I also run an organization that is called Beauty in the Closet where we offer free makeup workshops to the community, we mentor and offer counsel to the youth and we champion against gender-based violence, and speak louder about childhood traumas.

I love traveling, cooking, cycling, swimming, reading books, and playing poker. These are the things that give me joy in my free time.

Ann Mwenja
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My entrepreneurship journey is a funny one. It all started in 2017 when I attend a free makeup workshop by Urembo creations. My urge to learn made me attend all their 5 workshops, up until they opened a beauty school in 2019 and I went on to study for 3 months, after which I got the opportunity to intern with them.

I was then introduced to the entertainment industry and I got to understand how things are done.

I remember the many times I would go to a client, they have paid me money but I would end up doing the job badly or not deliver as per the client’s desires. I would then go to my friend and ask her to show me where I was going wrong.

I practiced how to apply makeup every single day so I could get better at it. I’d plan for shoots and work for photographers to get  professional pictures to advertise my work.

The most memorable day in my career was when I was I did makeup for Awilo Longomba for his music video. It was a breathtaking moment for me because I never thought I would. Another moment was applying makeup to our woman rep Esther Passaris which was a good thing for my career. I also won an award in 2019.

Ann Mwenja, Entrepreneur, Mentor

The key drivers of my success

I credit my progress in business to my willingness to learn and practice my craft. There are many times I went to other makeup artists to learn from them and grow my skill.

I tell myself that the day I stop learning is the day I stop growing. I’ve also done other business courses to understand the craft of business which has helped me a lot in my business. And yes, I can confidently say I have progressed because I do makeup way better than when I was just starting out. I have mastered my craft as a makeup artist.

Persistence, consistency, and patience are some of the key skills that have helped me succeed.

Lessons I have learned in my journey are:

 

  • Be professional in your business and keep improving yourself and your craft, you are the business.
  • Don’t say things you can’t do, be honest with your clients.
  • When it comes to money or being paid, have systems or be firm in collecting your cash after working otherwise you will be working on credit and that will kill your business.
  • Network with people.
  • Be consistent in what you do.
  • And be professional.

The people who helped me succeed.

First, it was my makeup teacher who was patient with me and helped me  master my craft. The students we studied with were also helpful. The photographers I worked with to grow my portfolio and all the directors have been useful because they’d correct me and tell me areas I needed to improve.

My mentor has always pushed me to become better and always encouraged me when I wanted to give up.

 

What I’d tell young entrepreneurs

We all want to be rich or get things done the easy way, but that is not life. When life gets messy, look at it with a different lens. It’s okay not to be okay, it’s okay to feel bad, but what matters is what you do after the pillow talk with yourself.

Don’t move with the crowd, move at your own pace. We’ll all reach our destination at our own time. Your time is coming and don’t forget that the only good thing in you is GOD.

 

 

What I’d tell my younger self

Dear younger self, please love God and live a life that honors God because you know what ‘kila kitu ni vanity.’ Take responsibility of your life as nobody owes you anything, even your sister or parent. You owe yourself the life you want to live, that is it.

Ann Mwenja, Entrepreneur, Mentor

My book, Unbroken, is on sale and it’s going for Ksh 1000. Be encouraged to make an order through this number 0731730378. Payments can be made through this till number 9166727.

We offer makeup services for bridal, baby shower, video shoots, events, advertisements, and film-related work.

You can also partner with us in the community work  we do and/or help finance our projects.

Reach out to us through our email address marbelbeauty3@gmail.com or call us on 0731730378.

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Optimum Options Africa, Cynthia Mburugu’s Entrepreneurship Journey

Optimum Options Africa, Cynthia Mburugu’s Entrepreneurship Journey

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Ms. Cynthia Mburugu is the lead HR Consultant and Director at Optimum Options Africa Limited with offices in Kenya and Dakar. Previously she worked as the Regional Head of HR, Talent, and Development with an International Non-Governmental Organization overseeing Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. She has fifteen (15) years of progressive experience in Human Resource Management.

Ms. Mburugu’s career journey started in 2007, and since then she has worked in several international NGOs, Consultancy firms, and Corporates. 2018 was her break-even point when she resigned from formal employment to start Optimum Options HR Consulting company.

“I started off with 2 friends who believed in my ability to redesign their HR department and through my rich network I have seen the company grow.” she recalls.

In 2020 she relocated to Dakar and registered Optimum Options Africa which is now serving West Africa.

“Your network is your net worth. This is what has helped me grow the Company.” ~Ms. Cynthia Mburugu

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The key drivers of her success.

“The growth curve has been progressive, even though the starting was slow. In business, one needs to be resilient and patient.

Daring abroad in Dakar which is French speaking, has pushed me off my comfort zone in a good way” she says.

Passion, consistency, integrity, and excellence have been the key drivers of her growth. Having mentors who have ventured into the same industry has also been pertinent to her success.

“At Optimum Options, we believe that our work should do the talking for us. We strive for excellence in all our projects, this has helped us with additional projects from happy clients” she states proudly.

With the shift in the workspace, remote working has also helped her to maintain clients in Kenya.

“My family has been very supportive throughout my career in all aspects.

I am also grateful to my career mentors who believed in my ability during my earlier career years and guided my steps.”

A key decision she made in her career was resigning from a full-time job to start Optimum Options without much capital.

“I have learned that it is necessary for one to step out of their comfort zone and the universe has a way of rewarding the brave.” ~Ms. Cynthia Mburugu

Her tips for success for entrepreneurs and the youth

  • Networking is important to thrive in consultancy.
  • Excellence in service delivery, staying informed on any changes happening around global labor laws, and organizational efficiencies.
  • Building your brand and brand visibility is key. Thank you to ORAC BRANDING, last year they helped us brand our company.
  • Have a career mentor, don’t limit your options. There are lots of opportunities around the world. Find something even if it’s internships or volunteer work to keep yourself busy before you land that dream job. When someone gives you an opportunity give it your best shot.

 

At Optimum Options, we offer career guidance, Cv designing, and Interview tips as part of our CSR. Visit our website for more details on our services.

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