, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – Kenya’s youthful entrepreneurs have been challenged to have the drive of starting small but with a big vision, if they are to be successful in the entrepreneurship world.
According to Joanne Mwangi, the founder of Professional Marketing Services (PMS), many of the Kenyan youths are reluctant in expressing their ideas in the entrepreneurship industry as they hold back waiting for a big break in future.
Mwangi, who says her entrepreneurship dream was actualized at the age of 26, noted that what is ailing youth and entrepreneurship was the fear of starting small.
“Youths should be willing to start with what is available to them but have a big dream and vision on where they want to be. They should be ready to start whenever they feel they are ready and accept that the journey to be successful is a learning curve and it is only after starting that they can stat to learn,” she said.
Speaking during the Youth Economic Dialogue forum that focused on youth contribution to the Big Four Agenda, Mbui Wagacha an economist in the Office of the President noted that there was need for youths to re-invest in their future in a manner that would ensure that they turn into investors and owners of activities rather than employees.
Talking in reference to affordable housing which features in the country’s Big Four Agenda, Wagacha said that the deficit on proper housing was growing with each day with a total of two million housing units needed to be constructed to fill the gap.
“There is need for retraining and re-allocation of the construction activities so that they can include the youths and women. However this can only be done if the youth are willing to re-invest in themselves.”
“Re-investing will mean that youths are willing to use their skills to offer services rather than waiting to be employed. For example, if you are competent in the Information and Technology (IT) industry, use your skills and install IT systems in the housing sector; don’t wait to be employed for you to work,” he said.
Speaking at the same forum former Kenya Editors Guild Chairman Macharia Gaitho said the youth needed to be more innovative and look into ways of bettering the chances presented to them for prosperity.
Gaitho explained that with youths nowadays being presented with platforms that enable them express their ideas, there was need to think further ahead and be innovative.
“If you are awarded a tender to supply stationery in a government office, you should look into how you can be the one producing that pencil you are supplying so that you can be able to expand your business for future partnerships especially with the private sectors,” he said.
The forum on the youth and Big Four Agenda was the first one to be organized by Alternatives for Young Entrepreneurs with panellists been drawn from the government and the private sector.