Kiambu County’s population predominantly young, and the nurturing of entrepreneurial skills and opportunities has become a critical factor for the region’s advancement.
Ephraim Mbacio, the Youth Development Fund Officer, acknowledged that there is a significant increase in the number of young individuals seeking financial support to kick-start businesses in diverse sectors.
However, local entrepreneurs continue to grapple with challenges in setting up and expanding their businesses, primarily due to capital constraints.
Speaking to KNA, Mbacio said the presence of funds from both public and private sectors has seen many ambitious young entrepreneurs struggle to secure the necessary financial backing.
“In a bid to address this, Kiambu County Government has been actively implementing measures to ensure the availability and accessibility of funds to the youth,” he said.
Even though access to capital is a fundamental aspect of any business venture, Mbaccio stated that the County government is committed to aiding young entrepreneurs in securing funding from various sources, including personal savings, loans, credit, and venture capital.
To assess the effectiveness of entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives, he examined that the county government regularly conducts evaluations.
“This monitoring system allows the government to measure the impact and success of its programmes, ensuring that funded businesses are on the path to sustainable growth,” Machio said.
Local young business owner, Catherine Wangui Waweru, stressed the need for young entrepreneurs to instigate positive change and promote sustainable development amid economic challenges and unemployment issues.
She emphasised that their innovative ideas and fresh perspectives are vital for the county’s overall development.
“Youth entrepreneurs bring not only new ideas but also the drive to create positive change,” she said.
By addressing local challenges and creating job opportunities, young innovators will contribute to economic growth and therefore, access to funds in a flexible manner is key.
Wangui acknowledged that the lack of awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities among the youth has been a major challenge to most of them confidently starting out.
She suggested a comprehensive approach, including incorporating entrepreneurship education into school curricula, conducting awareness campaigns, inviting guest speakers, and organising networking events.
According to Machio, promoting youth entrepreneurship is no longer an option but a necessity for Kiambu County’s sustainable development.
By equipping the youth with the necessary resources, funding and mentorship to establish successful businesses, the county could stimulate economic growth, address unemployment issues, and cultivate a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, the Youth Development Fund boss said.
Source: Kenya News