FEMCOM Secretariat with financial Support of the NEPAD/Spanish Fund has commenced the implementation of phase II of the Business Incubators for African Women Entrepreneurs (BIAWE) Pilot project in the COMESA region. BIAWE project is aimed at addressing numerous challenges facing women entrepreneurs in Africa. Participation in this regional project is open to women entrepreneurs from member countries of COMESA.

The project aims at increasing the number of women entrepreneurs accessing business support services from business incubators; increasing the women entrepreneurs that access affordable credit to improve and grow their businesses and strengthening partnerships between public and private sector and establish a women mentorship initiative.

COMESA Secretariat on behalf of FEMCOM has signed grant agreements  with the four incubation Centres  namely  Burundi Business Incubator (BBIN), Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), Sudanese Women General Union (SWGU), Small Enterprise Development Company (SEDCO) of eSwatini . These four Incubation Centres will offer business incubation services to 145 women entrepreneurs in Burundi, eSwatini, Kenya and Sudan.

Specifically the incubation Centres will focus on the following sectors:

  • Burundi Business Incubator (BBIN): leather and textiles
  • Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI): agro-processing
  • Sudanese Women General Union (SWGU): agro-processing and ICT
  • Swaziland Small Enterprise Development Company (SEDCO): agro-processing – poultry processing

Each of the entrepreneurs that will undergo the business incubation program will be expected to mentor 10 entrepreneurs in their countries of residence. Therefore an estimated 1,450 entrepreneurs will benefit indirectly through multiplier effect of the project.