Nairobi Securities Exchange Partnership

NFNV Kenya has undertaken activities over the years some of which are highlighted below.

In 2015, the Nairobi Securities Exchange (“NSE”) in partnership with NFNV conceptualised the NSE Leadership and Diversity Series (“Series”); an initiative aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion on boards of listed companies for business growth and sustainability in the long term.

• Research
Research conducted by the Kenya Institute of Management in collaboration with Barclays Bank of Kenya, NSE and NFNV on Board Diversity in Publicly Listed Companies in Kenya and the influence on Financial Performance launched in July 2017 demonstrated the positive role that diversity and inclusion in boardrooms played in driving productivity, performance and market growth. The research showed that Kenya leadsgender diversity on boards of listed companies in Africa, despite many moreimprovements envisaged. The Series included the New Faces New Voices Board Diversity Award which recognises companies that have demonstrated an improvement in the prioritydiversity attributes, namely; professional mix, which encompasses technical skills andrelated experience, age diversity, and gender balance.
Now in its sixth year, the Series has matured into a corporate social responsibility programme which spearheads dialogue by enhancing various aspects of leadership, diversity and inclusion within listed companies.

• Case Study Challenge
In late 2018, NFNV and NSE developed an opportunity for listed companies to showcase their initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion. Companies were required to feature progress and achievement at both board and management level, emphasise aspects such as age, gender, education, disability, nationality and professional diversity and highlight programmes which show commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion beyond the C-suite via a case study.
The case studies will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of independent judges and those which demonstrate innovation and impact will be recognised as models of best practice at a CEOs breakfast, published on the NSE and NFNV websites and communicated widely. It is expected that programmes will be developed from the insights gained to support companies in achieving market best practice. The initiative is ongoing.

• Equileap Research
Equileap, a leading research organisation based in the Netherlands providing data and insights on gender equality in the corporate sector, will carry out research, in partnership with NFNV and NSE, to evaluate NSE listed companies on their performance in gender equality in the workplace. We expect the research to be completed in October 2019 and the findings published and launched in November 2019.Equileap conducts research on and ranks over 3,000 public companies around the world and the data is published annually in the Equileap Gender Equality Global Report & Ranking which covers 23 countries in developed economies. Kenyan listed companies will be the first in Africa to be featured in Equileap’s annual publication and the research findings will be used to inform the regional and global markets of the advances made so far and develop a benchmark to measure other African listed companies. The research will be released to local, regional and international media.

An Implementing Partner

NFNV has also served as an on the ground implementing partner.

• I.AM 2.0 Initiative
I.AM, an initiative launched in 2016, called for young people to own and engage in conversations regarding their sexual reproductive healthand submit solutions that address their sexuality and sexual reproductivehealth issues and those of their peers.
The I.AM 2.0 Initiative, a collaboration between UNFPA, Graça Machel Trust, Nailab and Global Fund for Women, took place between August 2018 and May 2019 with the objective of generatinginnovative solutions inresponse to challenges related to sexual and reproductive health, sexuality education, family planning, maternal health and other population development issues; with emphasis placed on promoting womenentrepreneurship by focusing on women led or women owned businesses, encouragingfemale uptake and use of innovative products and service solutions. The mobilisation events received business solutions addressing the criteria and shortlisted businesses participated in theiAccelerator training program for 3 months which included scaling a business, facilitating increased access and female uptake of reproductive health information and services. The three finalists received a grant of US$ 10,000each to inject into their business.

• Growth Barriers Faced by Female Entrepreneurs in East Africa
Funded by the Graca Machel Trust, NFNV undertook a survey on “Growth Barriers Faced by Female Entrepreneurs in East Africa” in 2017. The survey attracted participation from over 650 entrepreneurs based in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. In addition to an online survey, NFNV convened focus groups where entrepreneurs shared their insights. The research was launched in March 2017 at two high profile events – one targeted at women entrepreneurs and the second for the financial industry attended by, among others, the Capital Markets Authority CEO, GMT CEO, representation from the Nairobi Security Exchange, entrepreneurs, development organisations and the media. The event received extensive media coverage across East Africa and continues to be disseminated on different platforms. The research led to the prospect of collaborating with a cross section of private and non-governmental organisations such as Intellecap, UNFPA, Old Mutual, East African Trade and Investment Hub (EAITH) to support women’s economic empowerment programmes and the ongoing initiatives to support the creation of a pan-African gender lens investment vehicle.

Research: Women In Media

In 2016, NFNV partnered with renowned research firm InfotrakResearch & Consulting to conduct a study on how Kenyan women are portrayed in the media entitled Women In Media: What is the Narrative? Interviews were carried out with 800 individuals and the findings were further analysed by NFNV. The study revealed that women enjoyed coverage in areas regarding health and nutrition and were often portrayed as victims in crime stories.

The research also revealed that for every 10 stories published, only 3 covered women and of this 30%, only 3% of the stories discussed women in business notwithstanding the fact that Kenyan women made up 52% of the population. The impact of this is that women are not perceived to be leaders and their stories and unique needs are not effectively relayed. This research was launched at a women in media side event hosted in partnership with UN Women at the Graça Machel Trust Women Advancing Africa conference in August 2017 in Dar es Salaam.

Usaid East Africa Investment Trade Hub

In 2018, NFNV and EAITH collaborated on the Gender Lens Investing Workshop and Investor Showcase initiative to provide an investor readiness capacity building programme for women entrepreneurs in Tanzania aimed at improving bankability, providing an opportunity to engage with the investment community, build confidence and amplify business profiles.

The programmes overall objectives were to:
(i) Increase women’s access to finance and financial services through assisting women entrepreneurs become pitch ready;
(ii) Introduce women led businesses to investors with a gender lens;
(iii) Promote investment in women led businesses; and
(iv) Encourage regional interaction and trade.

The capacity building Workshop was followed by a Showcase where shortlisted entrepreneurs operating in agribusiness, retail, media, apparel, education and the creative industriespresented their businesses. Prospective investors had an opportunity to familiarisethemselves with elements of gender lens investing and assess the viability of the pipeline of businesses available for investment in the region.

The entrepreneurs received invaluable advice from the judging panel and investors including monitoring cash flow, being open to varioussources of finance and focusing on business growth.