The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. through its Corporate Social Responsibility arm the UBA Foundation has partnered with The Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) to empower African youths.
The partnership will seek to identify, finance, train and mentor young Kenyan entrepreneurs who qualify for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.
The two institutions will work together to leverage on expertise, resources and geographical spread so as to nurture creative youth with innovative business enterprises. This collaboration will help develop the youth who have completed the TEF Programme to aid them grow their businesses.
Speaking at the launch of the partnership in Nairobi, the UBA Head of Public Sector Group, Timothy Kihiko said; “We have chosen to partner with Youth Enterprise Development Fund for we share the same vision of promoting youth entrepreneurship in Kenya. One of our focus areas under the UBA Foundation is Economic empowerment and through this partnership we will see youth get empowered and become better entrepreneurs.”
One the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs being start-up capital, TheYEDF Chairman, Ronnie Osumba said, “the collaboration will enable young Kenyan entrepreneurs grow and sustain their businesses. We have reengineered our loan products to ensure that they are responsive to the diverse needs of young entrepreneurs. Consequently, monthly disbursements have risen from Kshs. 20 Million to Kshs. 100 Million showing that we are beginning to harvest the fruits of the changes we have instituted at the Youth Fund”
“This partnership will see more youths benefit not only from additional financing but also through local mentorship, training and counseling. The Youth Fund provides a revolving loan facility that has seen many Kenyan youth start and grow their businesses to profitability to a level of offering employment opportunities to other youth,” added Josiah Arabu Moriasi, the Chief Executive Officer Youth Enterprise Development Fund.
The two will jointly implement the programme that will be done on a yearly basis as follows; Identifying innovations and guiding development of business plans.
Both YEDF and UBA will undertake a joint sensitization in order to: Disseminate the information on call for application to potential beneficiaries as represented in various counties across the country.
This year, the teams have already visited Machakos, Meru, Garissa Mombasa, Nakuru and Uasin Gishu counties to mobilize the youth and enlighten the applicants on evaluation criteria. Kajiado, Nyeri, Nakuru, Nyamira, Kakamega and Kisumu counties will be done within the following weeks.
- Guide applicants on how to develop a business plan.
- Training, Incubation and Mentorship support.
YEDF will offer onsite support that includes training and mentorship. For the TEF alumni, YEDF will get to select entrepreneurs with unique business plans where they will go through an incubation period to further develop their business.
- Funding for start ups
YEDF will provide phase II support to innovative ideas by the TEF alumni that have utilized the initial Kshs 500,000 provided as seed capital. The funds will be given as additional capital or working capital to expand their businesses to those who apply. The applicants will be integrated into the existing Vuka loan product by YEDF. Applicants who do not qualify for the TEF grant will also be encouraged to apply for start-up loan from the YEDF.