The GES will provide young entrepreneurs with the networking and tools that they need.
“There is nothing as satisfying to a country, than when young people are involved in alternative job creation for fellow youth. Entrepreneurship is the key to that success,” Mr Obonyo shares.
With the high rates of unemployment, many young Kenyans have taken to social entrepreneurship — with a good number of them looking into e-commerce and on-line freelancing as sources of employment. A number of young entrepreneurs in Kenya are today managing companies and businesses that started off online.
A good example is Alphonse Juma, who started his own website solutions development company in 2010.
A fresh IT graduate then, Alphonse started off Oracom Web Solutions, a web solutions development company at a cyber café and later set up his company website where he advertised his web-design services.
Within a year he had built a name for himself. Referral business from satisfied clients saw him grow and he went on to set up an office and employ three more people.
His business — Oracom Web Solutions Ltd has now grown from the initial Sh2000 capital to the current Sh20 million in value, with a turnover of between Sh600,000 and Sh800,000 per month.
LIMITED JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Mr Obonyo encourages the youth to take up social entrepreneurship.
“Go out there. Identify a problem and seek for ways to address it, technologically or otherwise. This way, you will have changed many lives, as you will have created not only a solution to existing social gaps in the society, but a steady employment for yourself and many others,” he says.
With limited job opportunities, institutions of higher learning need to beef up their degrees and diploma programmes with specialised courses in entrepreneurship, Obonyo notes.
“This will equip fresh graduates and diploma holders with the knowledge to do with their ‘papers’, apart fromformal employment,” he says. Entrepreneurship allows young people to fully shape their future and not just waste their productive years chasing after elusive jobs, he adds.
The Kenyan government has previously attempted to find a solution to youth un-employment through the Kazi Kwa Vijana (KKV) initiative in 2009, which was funded by the World Bank. However, KKV collapsed in 2011 after claims of gross cash mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. Approximately 300,000 young Kenyans employed in the KKV initiatives were left without a source of income when the programme was brought to an abrupt halt.
In 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta re-launched the National Youth Service (NYS) a youth training, empowerment and employment programme that Government says has so far created employment opportunities and transformed the lives of over 10,740 youth.