MbeleNaBizz is a program launched by the government of Kenya through the Ministry ICT in Collaboration with World Bank where youths have to present their business ideas and compete.
The 1.3 Billion project will see various youths win and get awarded grants of between Ksh 900,000 to Ksh 3,600,000 per business.
Apart from the World Bank, other sponsors of the competition include MSEA, KPMG, and the Ministry of Youth among others.
During the awarding ceremony held on Wednesday 24th, 750 youths benefited receiving the awards from President Kenyatta.
This program will run between 2016 to the end of 2020 and is targeting 280,000 youths directly. The program will see 250 youths winners get Ksh3.6M each. MbeleNaBiz is a creation of ICT ministry, supported by World Bank.
Olivia Ouko who is the National Project Coordinator says the MbeleNaBiz goes beyond just awarding the winners. She stated that the winners will also be in a position to create employment opportunities for other Kenyans.
“MbeleNaBiz is targeting 280,000 youth directly, but we could hit the 1 million mark in terms of creating employment for young people. We can no longer say opportunities are not there, it’s upto young people to wake up” She stated.
The program is not only open to the individual persons but to groups of young people and startups.
Evelyne Ngare one of the MbeleNaBiz winner in the Agribusiness category says she is optimistic that she will use the chance she got to employ other young people.
“I’m focused on employing youth and women. The level of innovation in young people is tremendous, their risk-taking is immense. Businesses funded by MbeleNaBiz will employ at least 10 other people” Evelyne stated.
However Sammy Karanja the CEO of MSME Alliance is cautious that MbeleNaBiz program might up failing like many projects that have promised to change the lives of the young people in Kenya. He said the program is reaching very few young people and most of them are not even aware of it.
“The gov’t has had many initiatives in the past, this one (MbeleNaBiz) is not different. When you look at the number of young people they’re reaching, it’s a very small number. The business environment must be improved.” He stated
Requirements for joining MbelenaBiz Program
To join the Mbele Na Biz National Youth Business Competition, you must meet the following qualifications;
- You must be between 18 to 35 years old by the time of application
- You must have completed at least form four level. You KCSE grades do not matter.
- You must be a Kenyan Citizen. Kenyans in Diaspora can also apply.
- Your business should be in Kenya
Read:How you can easily move from a job security to financial freedom.
Apart from the funds awarded to the winners, participants also get to an opportunity to be trained on running their businesses and entrepreneurship.
During the award ceremony, President Kenyatta also announced the third cycle of youth strategic plan of the youths enterprise fund that will run from 2020 to 2024.
Applications on joining the program are done on the official MbelenaBiz and KYEOP Websites.
Currently the applications for Cycle 6 for youths are open on the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities KYEOP website.
Business support applications invitations are currently open for the counties of: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale, Kisumu, Nakuru, Migori, Kiambu, Kitui, Turkana, Nyandarua, Kakamega, Kilifi, Mandera, Bungoma, Machakos, Kisii and Wajir.
On the other hand, training and internship applications are open for the counties of: Nairobi, Kakamega, Kilifi, Mandera, Bungoma, Machakos, Kisii and Wajir.
Candidates wishing to submit their application can do so by logging into the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities (KYEOP) website at www.kyeop.go.ke