NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Kenya Commercial Bank Group is targeting to create about 2.5 million jobs in the next five years through its ambitious Sh50 billion enterprise development programme.
The programme dubbed “2JIAJIRI” is geared towards easing the country’s unemployment crisis and seeks to help youthful entrepreneurs within the informal sector.
The programme is expected to benefit at least 500,000 entrepreneurs in five years who are in turn expected to create 2.5 million direct and indirect jobs in the period.
KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara says the programme will provide the beneficiaries with the vocational and enterprise development skills necessary to drive employment and wealth creation in selected sectors such agricultural enterprise, automotive engineering, construction, beauty and domestic services.
“We have worked out a comprehensive youth empowerment programme informed by our belief that the youth hold the greatest sway in the pace and trajectory that the East African economy will take into the future,” Oigara stated.
In the next five years Sh10 billion will be used annually towards driving this enterprise development programme.
“We want to dignify the informal sector and give it the skills-set needed to churn the next generation of businesses for the informal sector,” he added.
The programme targets both existing and potential entrepreneurs.
For existing entrepreneurs “2JIAJIRI” seeks to up skills and formalise the technical and enterprise skills of the selected youthful entrepreneurs.
Upcoming entrepreneurs on the other hand will receive technical skills, financial support for startups and business advisory services.
Already, 2,000 youths have begun classes in 89 institutions spread across the country for the various 3-6 months courses.
After their training, the graduates will be put under a 12 months incubation programme.
“Entrepreneurship and innovation are an integral part of our DNA. We operate under innovative platforms and with an incubation programme, we will promote ideas, offer mentorship, provide concepts and methods to create an optimal environment for free enterprise,” Oigara added.
On his part, KCB Group Chairman Ngeny Biwott said the programme fits well within Kenya government’s resolve to boost youth employment, potentially raising country’s economic prospects.
“We believe that through partnerships with organisations, we can redefine the youth unemployment challenges we are facing,” said Biwott.
A total of over 1.3 million new employment places need to be created annually to meet the rising demand for jobs.