By Lolyne Ongeri
High unemployment and underemployment rates have forced the youth to innovate to sustain their livelihoods. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Quarterly Labour Force Report for January – March 2021, the overall employment-to-population ratio for the working-age population (15-64 years) was 63.7 per cent. The age groups 20-24 and 25-29 continued to record the highest proportion of the unemployed.
We support over 135,000 children from ages 0 – 22 from all over the country. We are doing this by improving health care, providing access to basic, and technical education, and empowering caregivers with knowledge and competencies to increase their income and become financially independent.
In July 2022, we launched the second edition of the Youth Business Challenge for our program participants. The challenge seeks to recognize the best business ideas, provide mentorship, and build peer cohorts that support sustainable business growth. The Initiative attracted 103 applications this year with actual businesses.
After the applications were submitted, twenty businesses were shortlisted to pitch in front of a panel of judges. Daniel Mwayayi emerged victorious, taking home a mobile phone and Ksh50,000.00 as seed capital to reinvest into his leather shoe manufacturing business. The second and third-placed winners received Ksh.30,000,00 and Ksh.20,000.00, respectively. He beat 102 other applicants and emerged victorious, taking home the grand prize.