KCB Group has launched an ambitious KShs. 50 billion enterprise development program geared towards birthing a new cadre of youthful entrepreneurs within the informal sector to ease the country’s unemployment crisis.
The programme dubbed “2JIAJIRI”, is expected to benefit at least 500,000 entrepreneurs in 5 years, thereby creating at least 2.5 million direct and indirect jobs.
KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara said the program’s main objective is to 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.
The Bank has set aside KShs. 10 billion annually in the next five years towards driving this enterprise development program over the funds which will be used largely to support small and medium businesses run by the youth. 2Jiajiri program will be run through the KCB Foundation.
KCB Group Chairman Ngeny Biwott said the program 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 Mr. Biwott “We are committing to changing the youth narrative in the country,” he added.
The program targets both existing 70% and potential entrepreneurs 30%. For existing entrepreneurs, 2Jiajiri seeks to up skill and formalize the technical and enterprise skills of the selected youthful entrepreneurs. Upcoming entrepreneurs will receive technical skills, financial support for startups and business advisory services. Cognizant of the fact that not all are entrepreneurs, some of them will be linked to work-experience programs to give them hands-on training while exposing them to market opportunities.
- Skills development- 6 months Scaling for 30% of the novice entrepreneurs most of whom are the youth. Upscaling for 70% existing entrepreneurs will be for 3 months.
- Incubation stage- Beneficiaries will have access to asset finance, working capital, book keeping training, networking opportunities, App developers and even interact with university students over a 12 month period.
- Release into the market.
Already, 2,000 youths have begun classes in 89 institutions spread across the country for the various 3-6 months courses.
Benta Achieng Wamaua, one of the beneficiary is an orphan struggling to raise 7 children, three of whom are her own and four belong to her deceased sister. She shares a single room with her family, in Huruma estate, one of the slum areas in Nairobi. She has benefited by gaining hairdressing skills and even aspires to braid Kenya’s first lady’s hair. That is what hope can give you- ambition.
KCB Group believes that this program will be a game changer in the country where over one million young people enter into the labor market annually without any skills some having either dropped out of school or completed school and not enrolled in any college.
This is further compounded by the fact that almost 155,000 who join the labor market annually after completing training in Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions or at the university to acquire skills that often do not meet the expectation of employers.