New Partnership Will Harness Micro-Retail to Improve the Livelihoods of 1,350 Kenyan Women with Disabilities

TechnoServe joins the USAID Global Labor Program – Inclusive Futures program led by Sightsavers to help link micro-retailers to the Coca-Cola Beverages Africa distribution network.

NAIROBI, KENYA (JULY 10, 2023) – This week, international nonprofit TechnoServe announced that it was joining the USAID-funded Global Labor Program – Inclusive Futures program led by Sightsavers. Through the partnership, TechnoServe will help 1,350 women with disabilities in Nairobi and Kisumu, Kenya improve their livelihoods as micro-retailers in the distribution network of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA).

People with disabilities in Kenya and around the world face significant barriers to employment and to accessing the resources or opportunities they need to fully participate in society. For example, among those who generate income, approximately four out of five are self-employed in the informal sector, often with very low earnings. People with disabilities frequently face exploitation, social ostracization, and discrimination in hiring processes, challenges which are often even more severe for women. As a result, women with disabilities were less than half as likely to have reported working for pay as their male counterparts.

While the Kenyan government has been proactive in working towards creating policies that formalize protections for people with disabilities in the workforce, training and accommodations for people with disabilities are uncommon.

To help women with disabilities on a pathway to a living income, TechnoServe will work with micro-retailers identified by United Disabled Persons of Kenya. These women typically earn less than $80 per month, making it difficult to support themselves or their families. The program will build their capacity as micro-retailers and integrate them into CCBA’s distribution network. The program will facilitate:

  • Tailored business training: Participants will gain essential business and management skills, including strategy building, financial management, customer targeting, stock management, and labor rights, through both digital and in-person training.
  • Specialized coaching: Participants will receive personalized coaching, either in person or digitally, to meet their unique needs.
  • Supply chain interventions: The program will help participants overcome supply chain challenges by establishing linkages with organizations including Women Enterprise Fund, Soko Yetu, SMEP Bank, and CCBA; and provide support for start-up financing and stock management.
  • Increased access to finance: The program will help participants prepare for increased access to financial services and connect to banks and financial institutions.
  • Aftercare support: Participants will have access to on-demand support for three months after the capacity building stage. They may also join peer-to-peer support groups, receive ongoing business support, become part of alumni networks, and access financial services support.
  • Participant recruitment: The program’s recruitment strategy includes word of mouth referrals from alumni, as well as collaboration with United Disabled Persons of Kenya to recruit eligible participants.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning: The team will collect and analyze data to evaluate progress and project impact in order to continuously improve the program.

“Women with disabilities face significant barriers to full participation in Kenya’s workforce and economy,” said Alice Waweru, TechnoServe’s Director of Entrepreneurship for East Africa. “However, we know that with the right support, they can use micro-retail as a pathway to transform their incomes, livelihoods, and overall quality of life.”

Roselyne Olewe Nyunya, Program Manager for the Global Labor Program, said, “Everyone should have access to work which enables them to earn a fair income and have a fulfilling career, as well as their labour rights being respected. We’re excited to have TechnoServe on board to help us deliver our goal of empowering 1,350 women retailers with disabilities within CCBA’s retail distribution chain over five years.”



  • Inclusive Futures is a flagship disability development inclusion program funded by multiple donors, including UK aid and USAID.
  • It brings together global leaders and specialists from over 20 organizations to test and scale inclusive approaches in health, education, work, and tackling stigma and discrimination.
  • The initiative generates robust evidence about how to include people with disabilities in development and humanitarian programs.

The consortium partners involved in the Global Labor Program – Inclusive Futures are: Central Organization of Trade Unions Kenya, Equal Rights Trust, Innovations for Poverty Action, BBC Media, Kenya Female Advisory Organization, LINC, Sightsavers, TechnoServe, Ulula and United Disabled Persons of Kenya. The program is also supported by the Syngenta Foundation.

More information can be found at:


Founded in 1968, TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty for good. A non-profit organization working in 30 countries, we work with people to build a better future through regenerative farms, businesses, and markets that increase incomes. Our vision is a sustainable world where all people in low-income communities have the opportunity to prosper.

More information at: Twitter: @TechnoServe | Facebook: @TechnoServe | LinkedIn: @TechnoServe


Sightsavers is an international organization that works in more than 30 low and middle income countries to end avoidable blindness, treat and eliminate neglected tropical diseases, and promote equality of opportunity for people with disabilities. Sightsavers vision is of a world where no one is blind from avoidable causes and people with disabilities participate equally in society.

Sightsavers holds Independent Research Organisation (IRO) status, making them one of the only international non-governmental organizations to hold this status in the UK. Sightsavers conducts high quality research to address global gaps in knowledge and put research findings into practice by feeding them back into the design of programs.

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