Safaricom will on Friday kick off a series of countrywide youth empowerment and mentorship summits through its newly launched youth platform, BLAZE. Dubbed Be Your Own Boss (BYOB), the summits will give youth below 26 years of age access to a selection of mentors in unconventional fields.
The first summit will be held this Friday, 17th June at the Eldoret Sports Club, and is expected to attract up to 3,000 young men and women from the region. The full day session will involve mentorship sessions and plenary discussions led by mentors including two of Kenya’s celebrated young businessmen listed among Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Young African Entrepreneurs – Eric Muthomi, CEO of Stawi Foods and Mike Muthiga, CEO of Fatboy Animations.
“The BLAZE summits present an opportunity for the youth to listen to and interact with individuals who they have said they look up to for different reasons, most notably their success in what is unconsidered unconventional fields, and at a young age,” said Ms Sylvia Mulinge, Director of Consumer Business at Safaricom.
“We understand that the youth have passions and aspirations that they would like to turn into real careers, and these summits will give them a chance to listen and learn from other young Kenyans who have overcome all sorts of obstacles to succeed,” she said.
Through BYOB, they are expected to learn how to create and take advantage of business and employment opportunities, plan their finances and manage the resources they have at their disposal.
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Among the mentors will be individuals who – while not widely recognised by the public – have become successful in their own right. Award winning entrepreneur Ahmed Abdi, who started out as a matatu tout and is now the Founder and CEO of Amana Insurance Brokerage, will speak about dreaming big and building a successful enterprise in a field dominated by foreign-owned firms.
He will be joined by among others FAFA Co-Founder Sylvia Tonui, steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto and techpreneur Trevor Kimenye, Co-Founder and CEO of tech start-up Ongair.
Through the summits youth will also get an opportunity to network and audition for the upcoming BYOB TV show, which will see 12 contestants compete for a chance to win funding for their businesses. The summits will also be held in Kisumu, Nakuru, Meru, Mombasa and Nairobi. Entry into the summit will cost Ksh100 per person, redeemable for airtime or merchandise at the venue.
BLAZE – which cost Ksh700 million to conceptualise, develop and launch – is a sub-brand of Safaricom and is the first platform of its kind in the East and Central African market to be co-created with the youth, for the youth.