In 2016, Kenya ranked highest in youth unemployment in all of East Africa. With an increasing youth population and limited employment opportunities, most young Kenyans have no way to earn a livable wage. This project will bring social entrepreneurship training to 100 Kenyan youth providing them an opportunity to increase their income and create stability in their communities. A pitch contest will follow, with 10 selected to receive access to seed capital, leadership training and mentorship.
Unemployment among Kenya's youth is estimated to be 17.3% compared to 6% in Uganda and Tanzania. Each year 800,000 youth join the labor market, vying for 50,000-75,000 jobs. In May 2017, Brookings reported that due to a lack of opportunities at home, over 100,000 Kenyans have migrated to the Middle East in search of employment, making them vulnerable to trafficking. Lack of opportunities can also have a destabilizing effect, particularly at such a high percentage of unemployment.
Training 100 youth in socially responsible business practices and leadership skills will create new opportunities for the participating entrepreneurs, as well as those in their community who will be hired by them. A year long mentorship program will provide further training to the 10 youth selected as they launch or expand their businesses following the training. The entrepreneurs will be seen as leaders in their communities and will provide hope for the future.
10 socially responsible businesses will be expanded enabling the entrepreneurs to rise out of poverty and create a better future for themselves and more stable communities through their leadership.