Youth Entreprenuership is key to sucess of Kenyas Economic growth

While reading a review by Stanford Social innovation on youth Entreprenuership, a certain blog cought my interest. Reeta roy, president and CEO of the mastercard foundation mentioned something rather interesting, she said that young people are the fastest growing demographic in Africa,this I totally agree with but what was of more intrest is what she said next, that In Nairobi and Dakar, we are seeing young entrepreneurs demonstrate resourcefulness and inventiveness with a range of enterprises. With access to the right opportunities, skills, mentors, social networks, technology, and finance, they have enormous potential to be a driving force for ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SOCIAL PROGRESS.
These sentiments echoed out loudly also by Dr. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka the under-secretary general of the United Nations. She said that Youth entrepreneurship is a useful way to promote self employment among the young. However, they need to be supported with access to infrastructure, seed money, mentoring and other services that can enable them to set up their own micro enterprises. Although starting a business is not the only solution for all the youth, it is a viable way of creating employment and providing livelihoods.
But the question that begs is, Where is the support? the seed money?, the opportunities? the mentor ship and growth in let alone Kenya, Africa?
Reeta Roy went ahead to point out that Young entrepreneurs in Africa need the same basic tools as their counterparts in North America. But, access to financial services and markets, business connections, education and training, mentorship and support systems are often lacking. For example, financial institutions are averse to providing loans to youth-led businesses because these are seen as “risky”. And while the Silicon Valley ethos of “fail often and fail fast” is associated with learning and backed up with public and private support, this is not the case in many African countries.

I beleive and strongly agree with Reeta roy that for us to change and create sucess for young entreprenuers there needs to be dynamic resources and ecosystems that can help incubate buisnesses especially startup ones,facilitate access to capital and business development services, and provide assistance in the form of mentorship and peer-to-peer support. And we need to test models to understand what works and what doesn’t in various contexts.
In Kenya,
In Kenya, the government works closely with the youth through a program of giving grants and start up capital under the ministry of youth. Individuals assimilate themselves into groups and come up with buisness plans that are given seed money for startup. While this is a move in the right direction, we would hope that more should continue to be done to ensur that there is sustainability of these groups that start out.
What of the ones that beget buisnesses and fail to fly? I would hope that the government realises these gropus and creates mechanisms or porgrams that mentor, train and give guidance to avert such failures. Such things like youth entrepreneurship week or business boot camps that allow for knowledge to be imparted to young minds, because truly, young people are the Key to success of Kenya’s economic growth.the level of ideas that burst from the youth are enormous. Its is true to agree with Reeta roy that,Youth entrepreneurship is a powerful mechanism that taps into the creativity and drive of young people to bring about change, not just in their lives, but in their communities as well. It is an exciting area to explore as we stretch the boundaries of how young people in Africa can engage with their economies, on their own terms.

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