PUBLISHED ON June 22nd, 2023

App empowers women traders to access market

Startups, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will benefit from an app aimed at facilitating access to markets and networks for women traders.

The platform, called Isoko, will operate in the Mt Kenya region, helping women trade with ease across counties.

During a sensitisation workshop in Nyeri for traders in Nyeri, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, and Muranga counties, Communication Specialist Rachael Wangechi said the platform is targeting women traders, light processors and manufacturers, and producer women groups.

“Isoko is an integrated platform that enables users to access everything they need in one place and learn more,” she said.


Wangechi further said the application offers various features to assist entrepreneurs, including the ability to upload their products and services, place orders, manage bookkeeping, calculate taxes, and exchange currencies.

“You can utilise your phone to access markets, information, service providers, and network with other traders in Kenya,” she said.

She added that through the news segment, one can explore opportunities to unlock the potential of their business.

“Our trade regulations module ensures that you remain compliant with the latest regulations, while our value-added services grant you access to essential services such as banking and logistics providers,” she said.

The mobile app was launched in March and has since expanded its services to various countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, with plans to further extend its reach to Rwanda and Burundi.

Online business

Martin Ndirangu, CEO of the Nyeri chapter of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), expressed his appreciation for the platform, saying it will promote online business and greatly benefit many traders, particularly KNCCI members.

Ndirangu commended the fact that the chamber of commerce currently encompasses small-scale traders and individuals in the informal sector, including those in the jua kali sector, providing them a platform to voice their opinions.

“It’s the first time that the jua kali sector is being represented in the national chamber of commerce. This will allow them to engage with other business partners, expand their operations, and gain exposure to a broader regional market through connections,” he said.

Lydiah Mwangi, an avocado fruit exporter in Nyeri, said the app will address some of her challenges in accessing the regional market, especially during times when fruit availability is limited. She can now source fruits from other parts of the country through the app.

“Dealing with documentation has been a tiresome and frustrating process. Sometimes, I’m compelled to export my fruits using other company documents, which poses risks to my business,” Mwangi said.

Better marketing

Ann Wangechi, who runs a laundry business, said the app will connect her to the market since she operates in the service industry.

She added that the difficulties she faced in her business led her to start manufacturing liquid soaps.

Wangechi said the high prices of laundry soaps compelled her to venture into soap manufacturing, and she is now reaping the benefits from her customers.

Linacy Wangui, a salon operator, said the app will provide her with more ideas for managing her salon business, particularly in the area of book-keeping.

“The application will connect me with the market and expand my business opportunities. I encourage fellow youth to join this business platform,” she said.

Harold Omondi, a Business Administration student at Dedan Kimathi University, said the platform will empower youth to secure employment opportunities even before graduation by facilitating networking.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.