Who makes up HBWs in Kenya?
The HBWs in Kenya are to be found spread across the country operating under the MSME’s as entrepreneurs. Often times double or triple up as street vendors, small scale farmers and/or merchandizers of their goods across open air markets, stalls or suppliers of curio shops/hotel gift shops. A majority are organized under family workshops, self-help groups, cooperatives, producer companies, marketing support organizations, NGO’s and private limited companies. The Home-Based Workers Network Limited envisages to bring on board all HBWs country wide; currently brought on board 6 cluster areas organizations of Lodwar, Bungoma, Kisumu, Kisii, Nairobi and Machakos.
Who are Home-Based Workers and Homeworkers?
Home-based workers are those who do paid work within their homes or the surrounding grounds. They produce goods for local or global value chains and are of two basic categories.
- Self-employed home-based workers: Assume all the risks of being independent operators. They buy their own raw materials, supplies and equipment, and pay utility and transport costs. They sell their finished goods mainly to local customers but sometimes to international markets. Most do not hire others but may have unpaid family members working with them.
- Sub-contracted home-based workers (called homeworkers): Are contracted by individual entrepreneurs or firms, often through an intermediary. They are usually given the raw materials and paid per piece, but cover many costs of production: workplace, equipment, supplies, utilities, and transport. They typically do not sell the finished goods themselves, and often do not know where or for whom the goods will be sold. In both categories, these workers deal with low incomes, irregular and/or cancelled work orders, unreliable supply of raw materials, delayed payment, and rejected goods. The majority are women. Larger economic trends such as fluctuating demand and rising input prices affect both groups, but particularly the self-employed.
- Support town(s) based clusters as key providers of education and organizational development of members through the facilitation of skills upgrading, management training, exchange visits, product design and development and production capacity development.
- Support the formation of new town(s) based clusters and help strengthen existing clusters alongside building an African regional network of HBWs.
- Engage in and promote research on home-based work, including with regard to global supply chains as well as market facilitation through catalogue production and distribution, market information dissemination, joint website, joint participation in trade fairs regionally and internationally, organising annual regional trade fairs/exhibitions, consolidated orders and co-ordinated buyer visits.
- Lobbying and advocacy through the use workshops and seminars, joint delegations to concerned ministries and working with the media.
- Share experiences / good practices and disseminate advances in home-based workers’ organizing, campaign victories, bargaining models, legal and social protections, marketing and other activities of home-based workers’ organizations that contribute to improving the working and living conditions of home-based workers.
- Build national, regional and global alliances with trade unions, cooperatives, supportive organizations in other sectors, in particular with those working with women and workers in the informal economy.
- To raise visibility and gain recognition of HBWs as workers at the county and national governments..
- To build and provide solidarity amongst HBWs around common issues at the counties and nationally..
- To co-operate in marketing artisanal products in local, regional and international markets with the aim of improving the livelihoods of member organizations HBWs. .
- To help build and/or strengthen strong, democratic and accountable home-based workers’ organization which protect HBWs rights everywhere..
- To strengthen the membership of HOMENET KENYA by recruiting additional members and supporting their applications to join HOMENET INTERNATIONAL..
- To compile and make available information on potential trading partners, export procedures to various countries, market trends and other relevant information.
- To lobby the government and other authorities in order to develop a conducive policy environment that encourages the development of Homebased work legislation and support..
- To encourage co-operation in areas such as training, production, product development and marketing. .
- To mobilize and share funds/resources, in pursuit of the above objectives.