NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 10 – As part of the response to the challenge of youth unemployment in Kenya, the Government and the World Bank have launched the MbeleNaBiz Business Plan Competition, which will award 750 successful applications with grants of either Sh900,000 or Sh3,600,000.
Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Peter Munya said, “By investing in young entrepreneurs whose ventures will generate employment opportunities and earnings for other youth, the Competition will contribute to the development of an inclusive economy that provides opportunities for as many Kenyans as possible.”
The MbeleNaBiz Business Plan Competition is an initiative of the Government of Kenya under the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (KYEOP), which is supported by the World Bank. MbeleNaBiz is implemented by the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA) and the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs (MPYG). KPMG has been contracted to manage the competition.
“Young people are a vital driver of Kenya’s economy. In all our conversations with the youth, with Government, and with the private sector, one thing is clear: we have to support young entrepreneurs to create and grow their businesses, as this will further create jobs for other youth,” said Dr. Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Country Director for Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, and Uganda.
MbeleNaBiz is a national competition that will accept applications from new and existing youth-led enterprises from all the 47 Counties. The Competition will also accept applications from young Kenyans living in the diaspora, if their proposed businesses operate in Kenya. The winners will get grant funding and/or business plan training. Applying youth need to be between 18 and 35 years old with Form Four and above level of education.
“The Government continues to dedicate resources to youth empowerment initiatives and seeks to put in place mechanisms that will create opportunities with an aim to boosting Kenya’s development, and creating wealth and employment for the youth. It is my hope therefore that youth with promising businesses or business ideas across the country will participate in this important competition,” said Prof. Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs.
Applications to the Competition will be subject to screening and will be evaluated based on the potential impact, viability and sustainability of the proposed business idea, in particular in terms of potential for job creation among youth.
A total of 750 successful applications will be shortlisted and awarded a grant of either Sh900,000 or Sh3,600,000. The application Portal opened on 24th June 2019 and will continue receiving applications until 2nd September 2019.
“As an Authority, we are extremely happy to be launching this noble initiative. We look forward to receiving high quality business proposals from our youth, which will promote sustainable businesses leading to the growth of the economy,” said Henry Rithaa, MSEA CEO.