As the world marks International Youth Day, Safaricom Foundation has launched a revolving fund targeting Kenyan populations with no access to micro-credit especially young people.
The fund will be managed by two non-governmental organisations -Junior Achievement Kenya and Hand in Hand Eastern Africa who will grow it into a revolving fund. They will train beneficiaries on entrepreneurship and business literacy, group dynamics, governance and savings after which the recipients will be eligible for micro loans.
“Many young people who wish to start small and medium enterprises lack the capital to do so and unfortunately financial institutions classify them as high risk borrowers who cannot access financial support,” said Joseph Ogutu, Chairman, Safaricom Foundation during the launch of the fund.
Statistics indicate that 75 percent of the country’s population is under 30 years of age and 40 percent of the population is jobless. Out of this, 70 percent are youths. Further, an estimated 800,000 young Kenyans are released into the job market each year and only a paltry 50,000 get employment.
“We believe that through this revolving fund, we will significantly contribute to the reduction of unemployment because we are looking forward to support young people who have exciting ideas but nobody is willing to finance them,” Ogutu added.
Junior Achievement Kenya will work with young people aged 18-24 years while Hand in Hand Eastern Africa will work with persons of 18 years and above. The two organisations already have existing grassroot relationships that are crucial for the projects’ success. Both organisations also have expertise in group mobilisation, business training, access to credit and linkages to markets.
The first year will entail a pilot in select counties across the country with possible scale up in subsequent years.
Applications are through the Safaricom Foundation Website (www.safaricomfoundatio.org); and also through application forms available at each of the partners’ offices and websites.
About Safaricom Foundation
Building Communities, Transforming Lives, Safaricom Foundation partners with Kenyan communities, organizations and institutions to improve and transform lives.
With a footprint in all of Kenya’s 47 counties, and a strong history of partnerships dating back to our inception in 2003, the Safaricom Foundation has worked with Speed, Simplicity and Trust to implement over 1,000 community projects, impacting over 3 million people, through our thematic areas of Health, Education, Environmental Conservation, Economic Empowerment, Water, Disaster Relief, and Arts & Culture.
Our three year strategy which runs from April 2014 to March 2017 will build on our strong history of results and partnerships, and will contribute towards Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. We will leverage the power of innovation and technology to drive our projects forward; and will also offer a blend of grants, equity and ultra-low cost loans to our partners.
The participation of Safaricom staff in our projects will extend our personalized approach towards partnerships; and our project monitoring and our dissemination forms will provide platforms for technical assistance, learning and capacity building.