Youth Pro Empowerment (YoPE)

Published on February 14, 2014 um 12:06

Summary of your idea

Every year, 500,000 young Kenyans enter the job market from schools, colleges and universities. Only about 25% are absorbed, leaving 75% to bear the burden of unemployment. Various researches suggest that young people are setting up informal micro-enterprises as an alternative to formal employment and as a way to achieve their independence. However, 48% of the youth have less than 50% likelihood of business success. This explains why 1 in every 3 new businesses fails within the first 6 months. Small enterprises in Kenya cut across all sectors of the economy and provide one of the main sources of employment and generate widespread economic benefits. SME sector accounts for 74.2% of the total persons engaged in employment and contributed up to 18.4% of the countrys GDP in 2003, 45% of these SMEs are owned or run by people in the 25-34 age brackets, and 5 percent are owned or run by people in the 18-24 year bracket. This clearly indicates that youth are actively engaged in business enterprises and largely contribute to the countys growth. However, youth enterprises lack access to affordable business support services, yet they play an important role in the Kenyan economy. Poor management, lack of planning, poor product quality, poor public relations, inadequate financing and weak marketing are among the leading causes of youth business failure. In order for youth entrepreneurs to maximize their impact and achieve their missions, they need professional support, resources and tools to successfully run their businesses. However, many cannot afford to pay for such services at the current market rates because of various factors including lack of financial resources. Likewise thousands of fresh graduates from institution of higher learning fail to get jobs because they lack the prerequisite experience and exposure required by most employers. To solve this twin social problem, YoPE recruits fresh graduates and students and offers them with training and consultancy skills. These students are then engaged as associate consultants to provide business support services to youth entrepreneurs. YoPEs aim is to empower youth enterprises by providing them with high quality business support and consultancy services at an affordable cost using volunteer team of professionals and college students, thus bridging the gap between the youth enterprises and other businesses.

Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

Our impact shall be measured by the number of businesses offered consultancy services and supported each year; the number of students trained and actively engaged to provide consultancy services to SMEs. Outcome will be the increased turnover of youth businesses and the number of youth employed after successfully completing internship with us.

Plans for implementation and sustainability

The main source of income will be consultancy fees charged to youth enterprises for the service rendered. This will be supplemented with donations, venture capital and loans to cover capital investment and volunteer training in the first year of launching this service. Since we will be using volunteers to provide these services, we will not incur salary and wages expenditure thereby allowing us to provide quality services at a very subsidized rate.

Your profile

My passion for community development and youth empowerment stems from the fact that I was brought up through hardship in my early years, we barely had enough food and I struggled through life and school since I was brought by my grandparents who were poor. I therefore wanted to make a difference in other peoples lives when I grow up so that they do not face the challenges I did while I was growing up. Ever since I was in high school, I used to volunteer my time in helping those in need. I have worked with youth groups for a period of 1 year, providing then with training in accounting and ICT. Since my efforts were very limited and I want to create a bigger impact and scale my work.

Stage of Idea

start-up stage

Your idea has a positive impact on

poverty reduction, empowerment of women, youth

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