Posts

My Take: Working With The Youth

With over 80% of Kenya’s unemployed workforce being under 35, working at The Youth Banner as an entrepreneurship trainer and coordinator has given me the opportunity to be part of the solution. I am invested in facilitating, nurturing, and promoting the development of young entrepreneurs in Kenya. For me this has been a journey of immense pleasure despite the challenges. However, working with young people in the informal settlements of Nairobi and seeing the potential they hold has been a clear indication that by empowering entrepreneurs, Kenya stands a chance at eradicating poverty and unemployment. Nevertheless, most of these young people lack the fundamentals of business management skills and yet they jump straight into business, hence the very reason why most of their businesses fail.

 

The Youth Banner, entrepreneurship training program BEEP has been designed to help gain entrepreneurship and skill development with practical learning that highlights business development. To ensure personal development and behaviour change, the program includes both group and personal mentorship in a bid to ensure our entrepreneurs are able to achieve beyond business success, but also become role models in their community.

 

The success stories shared are just but a fraction of many, and they are an example of The Youth Banner’s efforts in nurturing entrepreneurship and enterprises in Kenya. The total credit goes to those youth for their commitment and hard work in enhancing their skills and by establishing businesses that have increased their earnings for a better life. However, it’s their stories that inspire me and my colleagues to continue with our work even when faced with challenges and I believe that their stories will continue to inspire the future generation of trainers that will join The Youth Banner family.

 

Charity Gichobi is an Entrepreneurship Trainer and Coordinator at The Youth Banner

You may also like THIS ARTICLE about youth rights or DONATE to our cause!

From Breaking Ethnic Barriers To Building Ethical Businesses

Breaking Barriers, Building Ethical Businesses

He was the first guy seated in the boardroom when my friends and I arrived for a reflection session. He wore a blue cap, a checked short sleeved shirt, blue jeans and a calmly persona. Later, he told a catching story on breaking barriers, here is his story…

 

Kamau Julius knows from experience what negative ethnicity can do. The 2007/8 Post Election Violence (P.E.V) left Kiambiu segmented into sections of people of a given ethnic group. The boundaries were NOT to be crossed. The consequences for doing so at times, were fatal. People kept to their section, bitter and ready to fight. This was to end when CHF visited the area and helped form Kiambiu Youth for Peace and development network (KYPDN), and trained ten cohesion champions. Julius was one of them. Soon, there was peace in Kiambiu. But…

 

Julius, when giving his story poses a question, “What next after peace?” He explained that some people survived and thrived on the chaotic situation but when peace was restored in Kiambiu, their empty stomachs didn’t give them peace. “Something needed to be done and The Youth Banner brought in the desperately needed lifeline.” BEEP (Banner Economic Empowerment Program), is what Julius was talking about.

 

With encouragement from k3, a program manager from The Youth Banner, Julius rarely missed classes.

 

“Nilikua nafanya kazi kijuakali, sikujua eti kuna doo yangu na ya bizna” (I was going about my business unprofessionally; I didn’t know the difference between my money and business money). He comments about himself before the BEEP Classes. Afterwards, his business of selling movies, USB, memory cards and songs began to thrive so much that when he applied for a loan from The Youth Banner to boost his business, he got a higher amount than he thought he qualified. With the loan of Ksh 24,000/= he added his savings and this gave his business the much needed boost including buying a computer. He would later clear the loan and qualify for another loan of Ksh 30,000/=. He has since expanded his business. Adjacent to the movie shop, Julius has opened an electronics shop in which he has hired someone to operate as he stays back at the movie business, which interests him more.

 

Julius talks about the two major skills he lacked before training:

  1. A saving culture
  2. Record keeping, and offers to explain further on the records, “I would buy, sell, and would never know what brought in what. I didn’t know what was out of stock, what was bringing in more profits, but,” he concludes, “…I know better now.”

…AND SO DO THE PEOPLE OF KIAMBIU

Portfolio Items