Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) traders in Embu County have benefited from training on business and human rights to build stronger, more sustainable, and ethical enterprises.
The training conducted by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) in partnership with Danish Institute of Business and Human Rights is aimed at enabling them to understand their role and responsibility in upholding and integrating human rights in their business strategies.
KNCCI Trade official Joyce Chelagat said the purpose of the trainings being carried countrywide was to enable the SMEs understand and learn their role in business and the importance of embedding human rights into their businesses.
She said businesses were not separate entities operating in isolation from the societies in which they thrive and as such have a moral and ethical responsibility to respect and uphold the fundamental rights of individuals within their sphere of influence.
Speaking on Monday during the training of tens of SME pla
yers held at a hotel in Embu Town, Ms Chelagat said this was not a matter of compliance with regulations but conscience and the values that underpin responsible entrepreneurship.
She said entrepreneurs need to understand their corporate responsibility to respect human rights as a key role for their businesses in a bid to attract markets and reduce risk of costly litigations, regulatory fines and reputation damage.
‘For instance, farmers need to understand the chemicals they ought to apply in their farms so that the products they avail to the market are safe for human consumption,’ she said, adding that issues of how they also treat their workers is another aspect that should also be taken into account.
Some Kenyan products have been in some instances blocked from accessing European Market due to high chemical residual levels and Ms Chelagat said SMEs and farmers must be sensitized on the need to uphold human rights for them to thrive in business.
Edward Munoru from the Micro and Small Enterprises Authorit
y (MSEA) said issues of human rights must be taken into account in the business ecosystem to promote sustainable enterprises.
Source: Kenya News Agency