KNCCI President Richard Ngatia Remarks During The Launch Of ISOKO


Today marks a milestone in our journey towards women empowerment. Today we launch the Isoko digital platform, a revolutionary solution designed to empower women in trade in EA. A platform built through the generous support of the Global Affairs of Canada and the partnership of TradeMark Africa.

I would like to thank TradeMark Africa for their consideration of KNCCI as the private sector partner for this program. Your expertise in trade and investment has been instrumental to KNCCI in the development of this platform and other programs. The support of Global Affairs of Canada whose commitment to promoting gender equality and empowering women enabled the development of a critical solution for women entrepreneurs in Kenya.

In 2020 economies were disrupted, businesses closed affecting women entrepreneurs significantly. In the aftermath of the disruption it was noted businesses that innovated and leveraged digital solutions were able to adapt and survive.

Kenya experienced significant increase in internet penetration over the last few years, Kenya will grow to 29million mobile internet users by 2025, a 41% increase from 17million in 2023 increasing access to smartphones and the internet. This creates an opportunity for digital solutions like Isoko to reach more women entrepreneurs and provide accessible solutions.

Isoko has the potential to transform the lives of women entrepreneurs in Kenya and across EA by providing them the opportunity to grow, expand their businesses, network with other entrepreneurs, save time and costs associated with traditional business operations all within their devices.

Through our County chambers and Women in Business chapters we have onboarded 2,650 users onto the platform with information on over 100 commodities uploaded. Of this number 34 are service providers and 25 orders have been processed through the application with over 400 uploads. The engagement rate stands at 75.6% with an average engagement time of 50m 16s and we expect the numbers to grow significantly after this launch.

We conducted several user acceptance test sessions for different categories of women traders in Kenya, where they had a chance to interact with the platform and share feedback. Some of the feedback received spoke on the ease of use of the platform and the friendly user interface.

In Busia the People living with disability noted they were able to conduct their businesses from a static location, allowing them to access markets and resources previously unavailable to them. They can now market their crafts and access information pertinent to their businesses with little or no movement.

The yearning for new ways to do business saw the women in Kilifi, attend the session with their children and traveled for hours to attend the session or take multiple forms of transportation. This shows the determination and dedication to do what it takes to find solutions for their businesses, they learnt new skills, and the opportunity to connect with other women entrepreneurs, they were not deterred by the other responsibilities.

Women traders appreciated the news segment on the platform keeping them up to date. The platform’s business management tools helped users improve their business practices and manage their finances more effectively.

Overall, the feedback received from women traders during the user acceptance testing sessions has been incredibly positive.