BHESP has continued to encourage sex work groups, WSW, women using drugs and bar hostesses and their groups to start sustainable enterprises to aid in their sustainability and as an alternative source of livelihoods amongst them. The enterprises promote economic empowerment which in the long run reduces engagement in risky behavior as well. BHESP undertakes economic empowerment through the following:
i. Capacity building, partnership and linkages initiatives
Due to stigma, discrimination, violence and criminalisation that our members face in Kenya, there has been a myriad of obstacles placed on their way in business start ups including business registration, credit access from mainstream commercial entities or known national or county government decentralised funds or reserved procurement opportunities. To address these challenges, BHESP undertakes our member groups through a series of skills which include; entrepreneurship, business plans, proposal writing, report writing, leadership, management and governance. With the acquired skills, most of the groups have gone a niche higher to attract funds that they’ve used to upgrade their enterprises. Some of the funding includes; The Youth Enterprise Fund, Women Enterprise Fund, Uwezo Fund amongst others. Further the groups have launched their SACCO under the name Umbrella Kenya Sacco (registration certificate also attached here). From this support, some of BHESP members groups are so far undertaking enterprises on beauty, cloth and wears, horticulture, poultry keeping, car wash operations and theatre among others. For credit access and financial support, BHESP has also linked the groups with microfinance institutions and banks. The partner institutions have supported in training our membership groups on how to acquire and manage funds as well as helping access credit facilities.
BHESP encourages and support sex workers, WSW, women who use drugs and bar hostess groups to engage in table banking as a method of saving and credit access. As part and parcel of their daily activities, the groups have set particular days that they hold their meetings as well as give their contributions towards the table banks. This is accompanied by records e.g. minutes and the cash book where they indicate all the activities carried out during the day, the planned activities as well as the cash flow. The money is used in group development whereby some of the groups have established enterprises from the savings, as well as giving affordable loan facilities to the sex workers, WSW, women who use drugs and bar hostesses groups and non group members for personal development.