NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – Youths in the country have been encouraged to apply for funds especially from the Youth Enterprise Fund with applicants to the Biashara Fund set to receive funding by July this year.
Speaking during a Youth Dialogue Forum in Nairobi, the Chairman, Youth Enterprise Development Fund Ronnie Osumba said that they would stop listing youths who have defaulted to the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) in a bid to encourage youths to take up loans and set up entrepreneurship ventures.
“We are encouraging youths to take funds from the youth funds and invest in the Big Four Agenda because money will always follow the policy and if your business is not aligned with the Big Four Agenda you will miss out.”
“Taking this into account the Youth Fund will stop listing youth defaulters in the CRB. However, they will be expected to pay back their loans promptly,” he said.
According to a survey by Transunion Credit Reference Bureau in 2016, more than 400,000 Kenyans had been listed with the Credit Reference Bureau for outstanding mobile loans of less than Sh200.
The survey further found that 316,455 people out of a group of 600,000 cases had been negatively listed for outstanding balances of less than Sh100 associated with mobile money.
Osumba also said that they were in the process of setting up a program to reach out to youths in informal settlements whom he noted had little or no knowledge of the existence of the funding.
“Youths in these hard to get areas can still add value in the country. Therefore, there is need to set a program on reaching them with an aim of developing safe spaces for them to have conversations,” he explained.
Speaking in the same forum, Mbui Wagacha an economist in the Office of the President, noted that the youth should also look for alternative financing if they find it hard in accessing government funding.
Wagacha said other financial institution such as Co- operative Societies (Saccos) had played a big role in the country’s economy and explained that they would help in youth funding if approached.
The Youth Enterprise Development Fund is a State Corporation that was established in December 2006 and it is one of the flagship projects of Vision 2030.
The fund’s strategic focus is on enterprise development and aims at ensuring participation by Kenyan youth in nation building. The fund further seeks to create employment opportunities for young people through entrepreneurship and encouraging them to be job creators and not job seekers.