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Case Study Analysis: A Survey of Kenyan Women Entrepreneurs


Task: 1- From your viewpoint and based on the facts provided in the case, why do women entrepreneurs perform a critical role in resolving the electricity shortfall in Kenya?
2- Do you identify personal selling as an essential capability for female Kenyan entrepreneurs? Explain your reasons (why?). Based on your understanding of the context, market, and the type of solution being sold, which aspects of personal selling are critical for success in the solar lighting project?
3- Based on the available infrastructure (e.g., supply chain) and resources in Kenya, how can female entrepreneurs improve customer orientation in their sales system?
4- Based on your understanding of the context (Kenyan market), set three sales objectives (two for short term and one for the long term) for Kenyan female entrepreneurs. Provide reasons why your suggested goals are relevant and feasible.
5- Based on the objectives that you set in question 4, propose two firm-level sales strategies that can help female entrepreneurs in Kenya achieve sales success.
6- Suppose that you are the founder of one of the Kenyan new ventures. Suggest and justify the most efficient and effective sales structure that can support the proposed objectives and strategies mentioned in questions 4 & 5. Remember, entrepreneurs always suffer from lack of resources.
7- Given the demographics and characteristics of the target market in Kenya, what are the key ethical issues that must be considered throughout the sales process? Please justify your points.
8- Suppose that in the near future, some of the female entrepreneurs decide to expand their business to neighbour countries. If they wish to put an advertisement for local sales managers in the destination country, what would be the ideal job description? Write a paragraph.
9- Throughout the recruitment process, what are key ethical issues that have to be considered by the employers (female entrepreneurs from Kenya)?


According to a recent study conducted by “World Bank Group Study”, various countries around the world are losing almost $160 trillion for the pay gap between the men and women(The World Bank - press release, 2018). Women are facing a massive barrier in engaging themselves in the traditional work sectors. Various studies have indicated that women are considered for about 38 per cent for the country's wealth from human capital. In the present scenario, multiple companies are targeting women for making profits. The World Bank and IFC have jointly organized the "Lighting Africa Kenya” initiative for sustaining the electricity condition in various areas in Kenya.


Fig 1: Concept of empowering women entrepreneurs in stabilizing electricity in “Lighting Africa Kenya” initiative (Winther, et al., 2017)

IFC has already taken an effort to encourage and train women entrepreneurs to provide better cooperation in work. An individual survey conducted in Kenya showcased that women save about $10 besides their monthly expenses, from which they can buy solar products. The authority emphasized this quality in engaging women entrepreneurs as they will save money to support their family members. On the other hand, women are better in understanding and providing effective marketing techniques.

The households in Kenya mainly organized by the decisions made by the female members of the family. The studies have also indicated that women are responsible for purchasing various household products. The "Lighting Africa" group have adopted a plan here they engaged 400 women entrepreneurs and trained them in the business market and data documentation process. There is only 5 per cent of retailers who sell solar products. It was difficult for "Lighting Africa Kenya" to reach the grassroots level and make every household to buy solar products. The main challenge was acquiring consumer's trust and aware them about the product. The women entrepreneurs make a move in conducting 'personal selling' to every household and interact with the consumers directly for buying solar products which are in charge of making buying decisions. However, most of the families in Kenya facing financial difficulties in acquiring things they are required. They should have a stable source of income for buying solar products. The women entrepreneurs have an opportunity to interact with these house members and advise them on making effective financial decisions and saving money. However, the most challenging aspect of 'personal selling' was the lack of confidence among the women entrepreneurs and required business skills in selling solar products.


Fig 2: The Increasing growth of using solar products in houses in Kenya (Carr-Wilson & Pai, 2018)

The “Lighting Africa Kenya” initiative was lacking in producing quality solar products for the people in Kenya. The women family members plan most of the household decisions in Kenya. It will be easier for the women entrepreneurs to discuss with the women and girls from the family and help them in making right buying choices. The project has already seen that the 80 percent solar product buyers are the women. It is because the women entrepreneurs have the convincing power to make the needy consumers to buy the solar product.The head of the LME program expressed concern about strengthening the supply chain management and create a viable source of solar products for the grassroots people in Kenya. The women entrepreneurs also need to implement technologies to engage the grassroots level buyers. It has been already proved that the women have the better perspective in marketing strategies and they can conduct the ‘personal selling’ process conveniently.

The distribution of solar products is essential for Kenya to make their electricity consumption sustainable. However, there are various emerging challenges among women entrepreneurs in Kenya.
One of the short-term sales objectives for the Kenyan women entrepreneur can be to increase the training and mentorship programs for the women entrepreneurs to help them understand about the small-scale business strategies within the existing asset. This training programs will help them in improving their communication and marketing skills, documentation process, and implementation of various sales strategies.
Another short-term sales objective can be the strong bonding between the MFIs with the "Lighting Africa Kenya" group. They can help women entrepreneurs in Kenya by encouraging and providing financial benefits. The LME suppliers will enable the women entrepreneurs to getting linked with the financers and suppliers of the solar products.
One long-term sales objectives for the Kenyan women entrepreneur is to empower women from households in making effective decisions while buying household stuff. The entrepreneurs can give those women effective financial planning to spend according to their need and save some money every month. It will benefit them in buying solar products as well as providing essentials to the family members.

Based on the sales strategies adopted by “Lighting Africa Kenya” initiative, two firm-level sales strategies to achieve sales success for the women entrepreneurs from Kenya can be,
1. Implementation of technology-based sales strategy can improve the women entrepreneurs in making appropriate sales decisions. The digital entrepreneurship can enhance the value-chain activities among the people from the grassroots level (Vadana, et al., 2019). The "Lighting Africa Kenya" group needs to sell solar products to solve the electricity shortfall problem in Kenya.
2. The "Lighting Africa Kenya" group has already taken a big step in engaging only women entrepreneurs to engage with the people from the grassroots level and conduct 'personal selling' of the solar products. The increasing growth of women entrepreneur can strengthen the women from Kenya to develop the social and economic scenario (Hechavarria, et al., 2019). They need to encourage more women from Kenya to engage in this initiative to make the process sustainable.

As a founder of one of the Kenyan ventures, the most efficient and effective sales structure would be,
Training and mentoring are an essential part of giving marketing and sales strategies to Kenyan women entrepreneurs. One of the biggest challenges for the Kenyan women entrepreneur is the lack of confidence and understanding of marking various marketing strategies. The training will help them in making long-term marketing strategies for people from the lower-scale group. The main challenge faced by entrepreneurs is a lack of resources.
The women entrepreneurs in Kenya should plan their engagement strategies with the existing resources such as direct interaction with the potential consumers, linked with the local shops for product supplies by the entrepreneurs, etcetera(Soundar, 2019). The primary step of starting a venture in Kenya would be to engage with the government to enhance the possibility of giving financial help towards the women entrepreneurs. It will help Kenyan women entrepreneurs to start their small business.

The main target audience for selling solar product was the people from lower-scale who are unable to sustain their source of income. According to the current study, almost 70 per cent of people from Sub-Saharan in Africa still do not have any access to electricity. Most of the people are reliable on using kerosene for their daily energy usage. Almost 68 per cent of people in Kenya use wood-based energy source. The "Lighting Africa Kenya" initiative needs to provide solar products in every household to sustain their electricity usage.

Millions of people from lower-scale family in Kenyan rural area die from household air pollution. Renewal energy source is the only replacement in maintaining their lives. The usage of renewal energy sources such as solar products will decrease the usage of traditional fuels and save millions of people’s lives(George, et al., 2019). The financial structure in most of the rural households in Kenya is poor. They are unable to access solar energy products. The self-employed women entrepreneurs need to guide them in doing effective financial planning to save some money for acquiring solar products.


Fig 3: Changing percentage of using various energy sources in Kenya (Moner-Girona, et al., 2019)

If you are interested in joining the new initiative – “Brighter than life”, apply soon. Most of the countries in Africa are facing severe electricity shortfall due to not having electricity in various areas. The heavy usage of kerosene and other traditional energy sources that causes air pollution kills nearly 4 million people each year. The only solution is to use solar energy products that are eco-friendly and good for health. We will arrange lone from the government aid to start your entrepreneurship journey to help people accessing solar products easily. Your job is to support the lower-scale people from the rural areas and help them in making effective financial decisions for their families. We will train you to develop your inner skills and conduct the business effectively. For further details, directly contact in the office between 12p.m.-5p.m., Monday to Friday.

For expanding the business in other areas of Africa, the women entrepreneur needs to consider some potential ethical issues during the recruitment process for selling solar products. Everyone engaged in this initiative needs to adopt effective communication strategies to influence people to buy solar products. They need to interact with people from every household in rural areas and change them about the necessity of using renewable energy resources to get a sustainable lifestyle. The engaged entrepreneurs need to understand about efficient documentation process and implement marketing strategies by using technical methods. The entrepreneurs need to set a selling target to make a profit besides resolving the loan amount.

Carr-Wilson, S. & Pai, S., 2018. Pay-As-You-Go: how a business model is helping light millions of rural Kenyan homes with solar. Case Studies in the Environment.
George, A. et al., 2019. Review of solar energy development in Kenya: Opportunities and challenges. Renewable Energy Focus, Volume 29, pp. 123-140.
Hechavarria, D., Bullough, A., Brush, C. & Edelman, L., 2019. High growth women’s entrepreneurship: Fueling social and economic development. s.l.:Taylor & Francis.
Moner-Girona, M. et al., 2019. Decentralized rural electrification in Kenya: Speeding up universal energy access. Energy for Sustainable Development, Volume 52, pp. 128-146.
Soundar, S., 2019. Repetition of communication attempts based on communication outcome for effective sales and marketing engagement. s.l.:Google Patents.
The World Bank - press release, 2018. Globally, Countries Lose $160 Trillion in Wealth Due to Earnings Gaps Between Women and Men. [Online]
Available at: Vadana, I.-I., Torkkeli, L., Kuivalainen, O. & Saarenketo, S., 2019. Digitalization of companies in international entrepreneurship and marketing. International Marketing Review.
Winther, T., Matinga, M. N., Ulsrud, K. & Standal, K., 2017. Women’s empowerment through electricity access: scoping study and proposal for a framework of analysis. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 9(3), pp. 389-417.


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