Imarisha Biashara Advocacy Campaign

Imarisha Biashara Advocacy Campaign

Imarisha Biashara: Women, Business and Government’ campaign is an initiative of Kenya Association of Women Business Owners (KAWBO) aimed at promoting access for women entrepreneurs to government contracts. This campaign was born out of KAWBO’s mandate to increase market access for women entrepreneurs.


The campaign is anchored in the Constitution of Kenya as well as the Public Procurement and Disposal Act (Preference and Reservations Regulations), 2011 which provides for affirmative action for women, youth and persons with disabilities in as far as public procurement is concerned.  The overarching regulation is that at least 30% of all government contracts annually must be allocated to this category of people.


KAWBO has launched a 6 month campaign to create awareness, train and mobilize women to take full advantage of the opportunities availed by the Preference and Reservations Regulations, 2011, monitor the implementation of the Regulations both at national and county level and establish partnerships to work closely with implementing institutions, particularly county governments to increase uptake of the 30% reservation by all government institutions.


The event was officially launched on the 24th of October at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies and was  graced by the PS  from the Ministry of Devolution and Planning as well as women representatives from the 47 counties.  KAWBO will work with the women representatives and the Ministry of Planning and Devolution to push this campaign into the grass root areas.


KAWBO is already carrying out training for women in business on how to register their businesses and how to apply for government tenders. So far, KAWBO has successfully conducted public procurement training in 6 counties  namely Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Machakos and Nyeri. KAWBO has also successfully trained 702 women entrepreneurs on working with the government and applying for the contracts. The organisations ultimate goal is to train and empower women entrepreneurs in the rest of the 41 counties.


Want to learn more on how to be a part of our Imarisha Biashara campaign? Watch our video!

Imarisha Biashara Facts

Imarisha Biashara Facts

KAWBO is acknowledging the government’s commitment to increase women’s access to public procurement and is calling upon all women to take advantage of the opportunity provided through formalizing their business, registering their business with National and/or County Treasuries and building their capacity to increase their competitiveness in bidding for government contracts


What is the Preference and Reservations Regulations of 2011?

The Public Procurement and Disposal (Preference and Reservations) Regulations, 2011 is a legislation that provides affirmative action to population groups that have hitherto been disenfranchised by the prevailing public procurement legal framework, environment and practice.  These target population groups are: women, youth and persons with disability. These regulations provide that at least 30% of all government procurement is reserved to these target groups. It also provides these target groups a platform for fair competition.

Who does it target?

Women including the youth and persons with disabilities


What do the target groups need to do to make sure they qualify to do business with government?

They must:
  1. Have the necessary qualifications, capability, experience and where appropriate, resources, equipment and facilities to perform the contract
  2. Have the legal capacity to enter into a contract. This means that they must have a registered business in the form of sole proprietorship, partnership or a company limited by shares
  3. Not be insolvent, in receivership, bankrupt or in process of being wound up or not a subject of legal proceedings relating to the above
  4. Not an employee of the procuring entity to which they wish to be a supplier or a member of the board or committee of the procuring entity
  5. Register their businesses with the National Treasury or County Treasuries


What is KAWBO doing about making sure women take advantage of the regulations?

KAWBO, in partnership with GIZ and the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA), has been conducting training on public procurement and the Preference and Reservations Regulations of 2011 in particular, for the past one year. The purpose of this training program is to:
  1. Sensitize women about the Preference and Reservations Regulations of 2011
  2. Impress upon women to take advantage of these Regulations so as to access the huge market provided by public procurement
  3. Equip women with the requisite skills to prepare and submit competitive bids.
Further to this, KAWBO, through the Imarisha Biashara campaign, is sensitizing women to register their business at the National Treasury or County Treasuries which is a requisite to benefiting from the 30% of all public procurement reserved for women, youth and persons with disability.
KAWBO is also monitoring the implementation of the Preference and Reservations Regulations of 2011 in all the 47 counties to ensure that women all over the country immediately start to reap the benefits of this highly progressive legislation.


Which kind of business women are KAWBO speaking to?

We are targeting the following categories of women nationally:
  1. Those who have registered and professionally run businesses and would like to become suppliers to government.
  2. Women who are already suppliers but would like to obtain more or higher value contracts
  3. Women who are not yet in business but aspire to get into business and to do business with government.
  4. Women entrepreneurs who have bidded before for government contracts unsuccessfully


What are the successes so far?


  1. KAWBO has successfully trained 702 women across the country
  2. Through our advocacy efforts, the Directorate of Public Procurement at the National Treasury, which prior to the start of the campaign in June 2013 had not started registering women owned businesses has registered 3294  women-owned businesses as of 5th September.
  3. Further through this campaign, the Directorate of Public Procurement set up registration desks in Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu and Malindi counties in the first week of October 2013
  4. Bringing on board institutions with a similar mandate to amplify the voice of the campaign
  5. Engaging women representative on the intentions, goals and structure of the campaign and generating their buy-in


What are the bottlenecks KAWBO has faced so far?

  1. The slow pace with which registration takes place – It takes between 2 to 3 weeks for women entrepreneurs to receive their certificates. Resultantly, the number of women who have successfully completed the process is still dismal
  2. Lack of infrastructure at County Treasuries to register women-owned businesses
  3. Failure by women to heed the call to register and come out in large numbers


What is KAWBO doing to deal with these challenges?


We intend to step up our advocacy efforts to reach out to as many women as possible with our message and impress upon the Directorate of Public Procurement to put in place requisite measures to accelerate the registration process. We will create awareness, train women, mobilize them to register and monitor the process together with our partners countrywide.

Is the campaign nationwide?




Which other partners are involved in the process?

Vital Voices Global Partnership is our key partner for advocacy whereas we have partnered with GIZ , PPOA, Machakos Women Foundation, Office of the First Lady, Nyeri County, and other organizations  on capacity building.


We are making efforts to engage as many organizations in the women’s economic empowerment space as possible in driving this campaign.

What are the benefits of supporting the full implementation of the regulations?


  1. Expansion of market access opportunities for women
  2. Enhance inclusion of women in the economic development
  3. Foster equity, fairness, transparency and competition as enshrined in Article 227 of the constitution


How does KAWBO plan to do M&E for the campaign?


  • Monitoring registration of women at both the National and County Treasuries
  • Review of media coverage on the issue
  • Review of procurement plans of all the 47 counties
  • Monitoring tender advertisements by counties
  • Review of county quarterly reports of contract awards as provided for under Article 30 of the Preference and Reservations Regulations, 2011






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