NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – Up to 10,000 youths have been picked to join 2Jiajiri, the KCB Foundation’s technical and vocational training scholarships programme, giving them a crucial stepping stone into entrepreneurship.
The programme is aligned to use the franchise and joint venture partnership model in a bid to link beneficiaries with training and market access.
This means that through the 2jiajiri programme, young people have the opportunity to partner with some of the biggest brands in Kenya like Ashleys, Amadiva, Tuskys, Tuskys and Toyota.
The 2017 will be joining 70 vocational and technical training institutions across the country from this week to pursue various courses—Building& Construction, Automotive Maintenance & Repair, Domestic & Catering Services, Beauty & Personal Care and Agribusiness.
“The youth are indeed one of our country’s greatest resource. Currently, young men and women make up 75% of Kenya’s population. That means that three out of every four people in Kenya is a young person. Our youth are therefore critical players in the social, economic and political future of our country,” said President Kenyatta while commissioning the cohort.
“As a government, we have opened ourselves up for partnerships with the private sector to give the youth a lifeline to self-employ and create more jobs” the President said.
The program seeks to empower 10,000 youth every year to start small businesses that will employ at least 5 people each. KCB Foundation hopes to scale up the beneficiaries to 100,000 annually which would create at least 1Million direct and indirect job opportunities by 2020.
KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara said the foundation is creating a social transformation and building a new eco-system of entrepreneurship by nurturing ideas.
“We believe that today’s small business are tomorrow’s conglomerates. The success of the East Africa’s economy is hinged on the ability to tap and support thesmall scale entrepreneurs,” he said.
The Commissioning of the new class follows the successful completion of the pilot phase of the program in which at least 2,300 young Kenyans graduated after successfully completing technical skills training courses.
The graduates have since proceeded to either establish new businesses or secure employment opportunities with major companies in the private sector.
From the first group of 1,055 beneficiaries that graduated in July 2016, 518 of them went on to establish businesses that are being qualified for SME support by KCB.
Another 270 beneficiaries secured paid internships with Private Sector partners such as Toyota Kenya, Tuskys and Naivas Supermarkets.
An additional 1,170 young men and women who graduated in December 2016 are also in the process of establishing and registering new enterprises that will be considered for financing and business support.
For the next five years, KCB Bank has committed Sh50 Billion towards enterprise development loans for youth-led businesses that are established under this programme.
KCB is seeking more partnerships with the Government, Development Agencies and the Private Sector players to help reach the potential of the 2jiajiri programme to train 100,000 young people every year.
“The programme aims to capitalize on the untapped potential of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises. If grown to scale, youth-led microenterprises hold the greatest promise of increasing the employment and wealth creation opportunities for young men and women in the region. 2jiajiri aims to revitalize youth employment, restore a culture of self-reliance and stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit among the young, with the cumulative effects of which will be felt in the wider economy,” said Mr Oigara.