President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, February 24 unveiled the 2020-2024 Youth Enterprise Development Fund strategic plan that has allocated Ksh1.3 billion to the Youth economy, of which Ksh900 million is intended to go to 250 young entrepreneurs as grants.
He presided over the unveiling of 750 winners of, a business plan competition, alongside Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth affairs CS Joe Mucheru and Chief Administrative Secretary, Nadia Abdalla at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Each of the entrepreneurs will receive Ksh3.6 million, and the balance of Ksh.50 million will then be given as grants to the other 500 winners, each of whom will get Ksh900,000 to develop their innovations.
The plan aims to transform the fund into an efficient and impactful initiative that is responsive to the needs of youth entrepreneurs.
The President challenged winners of the World Bank sponsored initiative to utilize the grants awarded to them to grow their businesses, create employment for fellow youth, uplift themselves and innovate solutions to challenges facing the country.
“On our part as government, we will support these innovations by creating an enabling environment for start-ups by young people. In fact, the BBI initiative, which is about constitutional change and legislative change as well, will facilitate this process.
“Through the legislative aspect of BBI, we intend to provide a seven-year tax holiday for young entrepreneurs like the 750 grantees of this project,” he said.
The fund has reportedly supported 2 million youth with loans worth Ksh.13.5 billion having disbursed a total of Ksh.501 million in loans since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Kenya.
He vowed to continue creating an enabling environment for the youth by implementing ground-breaking policies and strategies such as the e-citizen online portal that offers access to information and government services; Affirmative Action Funds, such as the Youth Fund to provide affordable financial and business development support services; Huduma Centres that provide public services and information from one stop shop citizen service centres; hubs to support tech entrepreneurs; Access to Government Procurement Opportunities; among others.
“As a caring Government and as an Administration that is responsive to the aspirations of all Kenyans, we will continue to create an enabling environment in which every citizen, including the young people can harness their potential,” he affirmed.