In respect to International Youth Day, Safaricom foundation launched a revolving fund targeting Kenyan populations with no access to micro-credit especially young people.
The fund will be managed by two non-governmental organisations-Junior Achievement Kenya and Hand in Hand Eastern Africa who both already have existing grass root relationships that are crucial for the projects’success. They will train beneficiaries on entrepreneurship and business literacy, group dynamics, governance and savings after which the recipients will be eligible for micro loans.
The youth fund is intended to help young people who wish to start small and medium enterprises. The revolving fund will cater for this group that is considered high risk borrowers by financial institutions and therefore cannot access financial support.
Statistics indicate that 75 percent of the country’s population is under 30 years of age and 40 percent of the population is jobless. Out of this, 70 percent are youths. Further, an estimated 800,000 young Kenyans are released into the job market each year and only a paltry 50,000 get employment.
Besides making the fund easily available for the youth, the fund will significantly contribute to the reduction of unemployment.
Junior Achievement Kenya will work with young people aged 18-24 years while Hand in Hand Eastern Africa will work with persons of 18 years and above. Both organisations also have expertise in group mobilization, business training, access to credit and linkages to markets.
The first year will entail a pilot in select counties across the country with possible scale up in subsequent years.
Applications are through the Safaricom Foundation Website (www.safaricomfoundatio.org); and also through application forms available at each of the partners’ offices and websites.