According to a January 2013 report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 80 per cent of Kenya’s 2.3 million unemployed people are 15-34 years old.
There are about 500,000 youth who graduate from various tertiary institutions every year. However, due to the sluggish economic growth, corruption and other factors, a large percentage remains unemployed.
During the country’s budgetary 2014/2015 address, Henry Rotich, Kenyan’s Head of Macroeconomics at the Treasury said the government is committed on building on the continuous youth support initiatives to further encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity of the young people.
“As a government that cares deeply for the youth and women, we are facilitating expansion of credit access so as to afford the financial capability to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities and scale up their small businesses. The Uwezo Fund, Youth Enterprise Development Fund and Women Enterprise Fund will be rationalised into an efficient and well capitalised fund to sustain the ever growing demands of our youth and women,” Rotich said.
The government allocated 300 million Kenyan shillings to the Youth Enterprise Fund, 200 million Kenyan shillings for operations of the already established and six billion Kenyan shillings for Uwezo Fund.
Kariba Moko an Entrepreneur at Nick Creations and global shaper with the World Economic Forum told CNBC Africa, “When I look at young people now, I think to myself they should be sealing business to the next level because right now you have venture capitalist. [Kenyan youth] have got non-secure loans that have come up.”
These development funds were set up by the government to enable the youth to access affordable credit to start and operate small businesses.
“The space is much friendlier now and I think the opportunity is for the curious young person who wants to chase their talent, chase their ambition and just take it to the next level,” Moko said.