How entrepreneurship gives women a step out of poverty

Dr Hartini Osman, G100 global chair of the philanthropy business and poverty eradication (left), Anne Marie, the board member for Powerbelt Africa (center), and Catherine Omondi, country G100 chair, Kenya. [Nancy Nzau, Standard]

When thinking of ways to alleviate poverty, many think around direct aid, including providing food, clean water and medicines, and other such efforts. While these efforts are essential, there are other ways that people can impact entire communities in long-lasting and sustainable ways.

According to Mikaela Mwangura, Nairobi County G100 chair, one such way is through supporting entrepreneurship in communities with high poverty rates.

G100 is an influential group of 100 women leaders from across the world. Mwangura works through the organisation to fight poverty and empower women across the globe.

"Entrepreneurship has proven to offer impactful innovations for poverty reduction," says Catherine Omondi, country chair of G100.

Omondi spoke during the launch of the G100 strategy for poverty eradication through entrepreneurship in a discussion on ending extreme poverty and empowering women in the country.

The participants addressed various topics, including a focus on empowering and training women and youth to become social entrepreneurs to help achieve these SDGs.

"Everyone benefits from helping the poor. Poverty eradication is gradual, it takes time, but it is possible," says Dr Hartini Osman, the G100 Global chair of the Philanthropy, Business and poverty eradication category.

"Poverty is not just a problem for the poor, the same way climate change is not solely a one-country issue. It has consequences and affects all of us because we exist in an open and interdependent world. Therefore, improving the lives and dignity of the most underprivileged will improve prospects for the entire world," she said.

Oxfam released recent research indicating that since 2000, the poorest half of the world has received a mere one per cent of the total increase in global wealth, while the top one per cent received 50 per cent of the gains.

The G100 organisation disclosed plans to sponsor 20 persons from disadvantaged communities to Malaysia for skill training.

Omondi says the organisation trains women in informal settlements on basic entrepreneurship skills to run their businesses sustainably.