Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Social Enterprise Model for Female Youth Employment in Makueni County, Kenya, East Africa
Explain your project in details:
Unemployment is significantly higher among young women than young men in Makueni County as its the case across Kenya; this is due to gender-based disparities associated with lack of productive skills, gender based hiring preferences, sexual harassment, demographic factors, socio-cultural norms. These gender-based disparities leave young women with feelings of low self-esteem, discouragement and disappointment. Many result to destructive activities such as prostitution and drug abuse. Mavuno Business System - MavunoBiz ( mavuno is Swahili for harvest) is a social enterprise with both business and social commitment founded in 2014 by Marcel Musyoki, a social entrepreneur, to address the crippling problem of female youth unemployment in Makueni county. As business MavunoBiz provides outreach marketing services to a wide range of clients that includes businesses, NGOs, government agencies, individuals. This approach involves marketing client's product or service by reaching out to their customers, prospects, target audience literally where they are in a particular assigned market. The people who are in charge of reaching client's target audience are the field officers. As a social enterprise, MavunoBiz strives to reduce unemployment among female youth aged between 18 and 27 years old by providing job opportunity to as many disadvantaged young women as possible to work as field officers. This job opportunity is flexible, the young woman is therefore free and encouraged to carry on with other parallel activities such as going for a training, running her own small business, etc... as the aim of this enterprise is to empower the disadvantaged young woman for a better and productive future.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
A part from providing job opportunity to the disadvantaged young woman, MavunoBiz also conducts intensive mentor programs to instill values in the young woman that will better her future such as saving habits, how to run a small business, maintaining good morals, avoiding bad friends and peer influence, etc. This mentor program coupled with the job opportunity have been a catalyst for improving young women's standards of living thus freeing up untapped human resources and enabling them to contribute meaningfully to development not only for themselves but for the society at large. For example, many drop outs who got jobs with and mentored by MavunoBiz have been saving a percentage of their wages and have been able to pay for their own training at various vocational training centers and acquired practical skills that open up more opportunities for them. Others have been saving and able to start small businesses such as blending and selling juices, selling boiled eggs and sausages, etc thus diversifying and improving their incomes. Most of them have also become employers in their small businesses. Others from their savings have been able to invest in something worthy, many college goers have been able to purchase materials they need for their studies such as laptop, etc. As a social enterprise, MavunoBiz invests its profits made from its business commitment to its social commitment by supporting these young women in their efforts to better themselves. For example, if a young woman has been saving to enroll for a training at a vocational center and she's required to pay 50 dollars. But on her savings, she has 30 dollars. MavunoBiz will chip in and provide the remaining 20 dollars to enable her go for training.
Sustainability and future plans
MavunoBiz as a business is highly sustainable since every business out there needs marketing. The coordination works tirelessly to make sure that marketing agreements are secured in order to fulfill the business commitment which makes it possible to sustain the social commitment. MavunoBiz addresses the crippling problem of female youth unemployment in Makueni county in Kenya with a view of expanding or replicating the same first to other counties across Kenya, second to East Africa region and third to the entire sub-Saharan Africa.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I was born in 1978 in Kisangani, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I came to Kenya in 1997, as a result of a civil war in my native county, and acquired a citizenship. In 2001, I graduated in social studies from technical Institute in Nairobi. I launched my first social enterprise in 2006 in Kibera slum, Nairobi where we addressed the problem of youth gangs. In 2011, I moved to Emali, a rural town in Makueni county, Kenya. After observing the serious problem of unemployment facing the youth in general and particularly worse the plight of female youth to secure decent employment due to gender-based disparities, I launched MavunoBiz (Mavuno Business System) in September 2014; a social enterprise that addresses specifically the crippling problem of female youth unemployment in Makueni county with the view of expanding it to other counties. Mavunobiz is running up to date and I serve as the overall coordinator.