• CS Munya said the project will help the government in addressing the unemployment crisis in Kenya.
• “The World Bank, the main financiers of the initiative, insisted the process would go through a rigorous impact evaluation process with the selected businesses evaluated on a regular basis,” Munya said.
Youths have been urged to participate in the World Bank’s Mbele Na Biz National Youth Business Competition that will invest some Sh15 billion in young entrepreneurs.
Grants worth between Sh900,000 to Sh3.6 million will be awarded to the most viable business ideas in the competition to run from July 10 to September 2.
Audit firm KPMG is implementing the project.
Western Region Youth Affairs Coordinator Augustine Mayabi said the competition targets a total of 750 youths to benefit from the grants.
“At least 500 successful applicants will get Sh900,000 and another 250 youths will get Sh3.6 million each,” Mayabi said.
Mayabi said the aim of the project is to expand new and existing youth-led enterprises by providing them with additional funding and business plan training.
He said the project aims to support government efforts to solve the youth unemployment through entrepreneurship.
“We are appealing to Kenyan youths aged between 18 and 35 years with a minimum of Form 4 qualification and above to take part in the competition,” he said.
Trade and Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, said the selection process for the 750 winners will be transparently and professionally done.
Munya said the project will help the government in addressing the unemployment crisis in Kenya.
“The World Bank, the main financiers of the initiative, insisted the process would go through a rigorous impact evaluation process with the selected businesses evaluated on a regular basis,” Munya said.
Mayabi said that at least 70 per cent majority shareholders in the business plans submitted must be Kenyan youths.
Those in the diaspora are also eligible to apply upon demonstrating they will live and operate the business in Kenya should their application be successful.
“The business idea must demonstrate that upon getting the grant, the applicant will be able to create more employment opportunities to other youths and that the venture will, in turn, become a big industry in future,” Mayabi said.
He regretted that the applicants they received when the first phase of the completion were very few.
Very few youths from Western Kenya participated in the competition, he said.
Statistics show more than 85 per cent of those who are unemployed in the country are aged below 35 years, the age category that the competition targets, Mayabi said.
(edited by O. Owino)