The ‘Reaching the Un-reached’ program is ACWICT’s flagship program. It is a community based capacity building initiative that aims at equipping women and women entrepreneurs in rural and urban communities in Kenya with ICT and entrepreneurship within five thematic areas of national priority namely agriculture, livestock, trade, fishing, and tourism.
The training is delivered through Community Technology Learning Centres (CTLCs) established in Kisumu, Isiolo, Busia, Nairobi and Suba Districts. The CTLCs also provide access to ICT infrastructure and services for the program beneficiaries and promotes regional technology literacy.
The ICT training is delivered using Microsoft Official Academic Curriculum (Unlimited Potential) which comprises basic computer skills, spreadsheets, Internet, digital media, web design, word processing, presentation and database management. .
The overall goal of the ‘Reaching the Unreached’ program is to empower women, improve lives, create and sustain wealth and broaden digital inclusion in Kenya. The program targets to train a total of 18000 women entrepreneurs and to set up community technology learning centres countrywide in the next three years. To-date, the program has trained 600 women and has impacted 4200 indirect beneficiaries.
Once trained, the women entrepreneurs are linked to government-sponsored Women and Youth Enterprise Funds that are geared towards boosting the capital base of enterprising women and youth. There already exists partnerships opportunities with Micro Finance Institutions like K-rep Bank with a view of connecting beneficiaries to financial resources. In addition, the women are assisted by linking them to other resources and opportunities such as information on business start-up ingredients, expansion into newer markets and job opportunities, legal information and access to mentors
The women with entrepreneurial skills will be helped to develop business concepts that will translate into concrete business plans that are viable for financing. Other skills will include legal aspects of business creation, record keeping in small businesses, principles of self employment, and negotiation and communication skills among others.
ACWICT is also implementing the Reaching the Un-reached: youth employability program targeting 720 young unemployed women from the informal settlements around Eldoret town. The program is funded by the Microsoft Unlimited Potential group.