Up to 10,000 youths have been picked to join 2Jiajiri, the KCB Foundationâ€™s technical and vocational training scholarships programme, giving them a crucial stepping stone into entrepreneurship.
In a game-changing programme that is expected to drastically transform East Africaâ€™s economic journey in the coming years, the KCB Foundation is using a franchise model and joint venture partnerships in a bid to link beneficiaries with training and market access.
The structure of the partnerships, said the KCB Foundation, allows 2jiajiri beneficiaries to have a stake in the ownership of businesses that they establish in conjunction with the partnering companies either through a joint-venture, franchise agreements or branch-operator model.
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.
Effectively, this gives them the edge they need to accelerate the growth of their enterprises and a fighting chance to build real wealth for themselves and employ many others.
The 2017 cohort commissioned on Tuesday by President Uhuru Kenyatta will be joining 70 vocational and technical training institutions across the country from this week to pursue various coursesâ€”Building& Construction, Automotive Maintenance& Repair, Domestic&Catering Services, Beauty& Personal Care and Agribusiness.
â€œThe youth are indeed one of our countryâ€™s greatest resource. Currently, young men and women make up 75% of Kenyaâ€™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,â€ said President Kenyatta while hailing the 2Jiajiri programme. â€œAs 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 jobsâ€ 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 Â at least 1Million direct and indirect job opportunities by 2020.
KCB Group which through its social investment arm KCB drives 2Jiajiri said the new class will further deepen its flagship programme.Â â€œWe are creating a social transformation and building a new eco-system of entrepreneurship by nurturing ideas and giving the bearers a chance to monetize them,â€ said Joshua Oigara, the KCB Group CEO and MD. â€œWe believe that todayâ€™s small business are tomorrowâ€™s conglomerates. The success of the East Africaâ€™s economy is hinged on the ability to tap and support thesmall scale entrepreneurs,â€ 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 completingtechnical skills training courses. These 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.
Speaking at the event, Ms. Sicily Kariuki, Kenyaâ€™s Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs said that the problem of youth unemployment is best addressed by supporting efforts that enable young people to pursue avenues of income and wealth generation in which they are self-reliant. â€œIn trying to create a more inclusive economic growth, procuring entities within government are now mandatorily required by law to allocate at least 30 per cent of their expenditure to micro and small enterprises owned by youth, women and persons with disability. This translates to roughly Kshs.480 Billion every year that is available to young people for enterprise development,â€ she said.
For the next five years, KCB Bank has committed Kshs.50 Billion (Kshs10 billion annually) 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.
â€œThe programme aims to capitalize on the untapped potential of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.Â 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,â€ said Mr Oigara.