Safaricom will this Friday, 8 July 2016 host the second Blaze Summit in a series of youth empowerment summits under its recently launched sub-brand, BLAZE.
Dubbed Be Your Own Boss (B.Y.O.B) the event will be held at the Thika Technical Training Institute, and will feature a full day of mentorship and plenary sessions designed to educate and guide youth interested in pursuing careers considered unconventional.
B.Y.O.B has engaged a crop of young mentors to interact with the youth, with the hope of making the sessions more relatable to a young crowd expected to comprise mostly of college and university students.
Among the mentors this Friday include young entrepreneurs such as Eric Muthomi (CEO of Stawi Foods), CEO of Amana Insurance Brokers Ahmed Abdi, Mike Muthiga of Fatboy Animations, techpreneur Trevor Kimenye of Ongair and FAFA Co-Founder Sylvia Tonui. They will be joined by artistes Wangechi and King Kaka, Sarakasi dancer Agnes Kinga, radio presenter Anita Nderu and actor Nick Mutuma.
This event follows a successful inaugural Blaze Summit held in Eldoret in June, which was attended by over 6,000 youth from Uasin Gishu County and its environs.
“Before we launched BLAZE we did a lot of research in order to understand how to engage the youth. During these sessions they told us that what they needed most was empowerment to achieve their dreams. This is what informed our decision to launch BLAZE,” pointed out Sylvia Mulinge, Director – Consumer Business, Safaricom.
The research was conducted by TNS Global and Youth Dynamix Kenya between late 2015 and early 2016, with the results showing that – contrary to popular belief – Kenyan youth are more interested in turning their passions into professional careers than in parties.
“Our young people may be interested in having fun, but they are more interested in what they can do to secure their futures while at the same time creating real jobs out of their passions. In Eldoret, the most popular sessions turned out to be those that focused on agri-business, entrepreneurship and career talks,” she explained.
Safaricom aims, through BLAZE Summit, to teach youth how to create, seek and take advantage of employment opportunities, take control of their finances and build networks of influence that will help them as they set off on their journeys to finding success – even in unconventional fields.
“We’re not saying that conventional careers are not important; what we’re saying is that we realise that not everyone is meant to be a banker or lawyer and that there is nothing wrong with turning your passion for something like fashion for example into a professionally run business,” added Ms. Mulinge.
The summit will run from 9am to 5pm and will include sessions focusing on fashion, music, media, agri-business, entrepreneurship and career building.
BLAZE has also partnered with jobs site Brighter Monday, which will teach young people how to package themselves when looking for employment.
Through the series of summits youth will also get an opportunity to network and audition for the upcoming B.Y.O.B. TV show, which will see 12 contestants compete for a chance to win funding for their businesses.
Other summits are scheduled to take place in Kisumu, Nakuru, Meru, Mombasa and Nairobi in the coming weeks. Entry into each summit will cost Kshs.100 per person, redeemable for airtime or merchandise at the venue.
BLAZE – which cost Kshs.700 million to conceptualize, develop and launch – is a sub-brand of Safaricom and is the first platform of its kind in the East and Central African market to be co-created with the youth, for the youth.