Every business needs funding to succeed. The youth in Kenya are known for their unique ability to innovate an identify opportunities for growth. The entrepreneurial skills have been key to lessening the sting of youth unemployment in the country. Sadly, many of these ideas nurtured by the youth really make it past the conceptualization phase. The main challenge that most face is lack of access to funding. This article will highlight some of the best sources of funding
YOUTH ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT FUND
The fund under the ministry of youth and gender affairs is supposed to assist the youth gain self- reliance and boost the economy. The fund offers a minimum of kshs 100,000/= and a maximum of kshs 5,000,000/=. The fund is one of the most diverse as it entails numerous products that include:
- Bid bond and LPO/LSO Financing
- Business expansion loans (Vuka)
- Constituency based loans
- Rausha loans
- Inua loans
- Swift loans
The general requirements to access the funds for your business are:
- A copy of a certificate of registration for the group (preferably by a government institution).
- Copies of the members identification cards
- Members should be between the ages of 18-34.( 70% of the members for Vuka product)
- Letter of commitment by member to pay tenders, repay loans among others.
- Provide registered bank account details
- Completed forms where necessary.
The fund was created to enable people living with disabilities, women and youth access funds that will enable them engage in entrepreneurial activities. Much like the youth fund, these funds are issued to youth groups. The fund issues amounts up to three times the savings of a group provided that they are not below kshs 50,000/= and not above kshs 500,00/=.
To apply for the Uwezo Fund, applicants should collect fill and submit forms to the constituency Uwezo fund management Committee Offices. Forms can also be downloaded from the website.
The requirements to access the funds are:
- The group be registered by the Registrar of Societies at the social services department.
- The members should be aged between 18 – 35 years.
- The group should have a registered bank account under their name.
- The group must show evidence of monthly contribution
- The group should be active at the constituency level.
Various embassies have provide funds to the youth with focus on key priority areas. The limit on the funds and their access vary from on Embassy’s grant to the next. A majority of the funds have the upper age limit of 35. There are others that are specifically targeted to women that may have a higher age limit.
Some embassy funds include; Japan, Germany, Finland, USA, Slovakia, just to name a few. It would be advisable to visit the various embassies websites to find out the unique benefits. Some have more than one fund that youth groups would benefit from.
The common requirements are:
- The applicant or group be duly registered with relevant registration.
- Realistically planned project activities that have the specific embassy’s desired outcomes in mind.
- Provide a soundly projected budget in line with the activities.
- Evidence of sound financial record and proof of support to sufficient human resources for implementation of the project.
Mobile apps have been known to come in handy when one is in a pinch. They have also helped many youthful business people gain funds for business Mshwari, Tala,, M-Kopa, are just some of the applications that have enabled youth achieve their dreams. Unlike most of the others indicated above, Mobile App loans usually require a registered phone number, valid identification and a positive credit rating.
Having highlighted the above. I hope youth seeking an injection of funds to their business or much needed support to get their business of the ground. I hope that research and diligence guide you to the right funding and spur you on to your dreams. Make use of the opportunities for if you don’t, who will?