Missed Youth Opportunities

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This week’s #CoffeeBarTuesday focused on youth opportunities and getting to understand some of the opportunities that are there for young people and if they are accessible. For so long, young people have not been able to access opportunities due to lack of information and the opportunities themselves. We noted that some of the opportunities, especially the government revolving funds are hard to access since some cited that you need to have godfather. Many have applied but have never received any response on their application.  As much as young people don’t have a source of income, we noted that the majority are also not aware of financial security and how they can be able to plan their money.

During the discussions, we discussed on some of the opportunities that are already there such as Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Uwezo Fund, Women Fund, National Fund For The Disabled of Kenya, Ajira Digital, Access to Government Procurement Opportunities, Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities and Mbele NA Biz. Both the county and national government have promised to have different funds that can be accessed by young people such as Hustler Fund, Biashara Fund and more commitment on Access to Government Procurement Opportunities.

Other opportunities that young people can tap into are applying and expressing interest in advertised tenders, short courses and training, Ndoto Zetu by Safaricom, Green Card, looking out for local organizations that give different funds or training to young people among others . Young people don’t know how to express interest on tenders and this is mainly because this information is not easily accessible or the information is reserved for the few. As much as some of the tenders are advertised for formalities, young people also need to express their interest and apply.

Participants during the discussion. Photo: Julius Rasat

When it comes to savings and financial plans, young people are not aware or don’t understand how to save and minimize their spending. For those who have a form of income, the majority don’t have a saving plan. On this one, we also checked on how money market funding, shares and saccos work and how they can help in building a sustainable financial plan for the future. Keeping in mind there is no guarantee that you’ll make money from investments you make. But getting the facts on saving and investing and following through with a well outlined plan, as a young person you should be able to gain financial security over the years and enjoy the benefits of managing your money.

For you to get some of these government opportunities, you must first be a registered group or at least belong to one. For those with great ideas that would create employment, MbeleNABiz competition is suitable for you. This is an initiative by the government that aims to expand new and existing youth-led enterprises by providing them with grant funding and/or business plan training. Advocating for young people to have and access opportunities is crucial so as to have financial independence.

Mukuru Youth Initiative vision being having a community that is free from social vices and youths who are focused on seeing the community develop both socially and economically, we believe in creating spaces where young people can access information that will be able to change their lives positively. Coming next week, we shall be dissecting savings and investment plans that young people can adopt for their own future. See you next week!

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