Barclays to invest sh230 million in youth empowerment projects

Barclays Bank of Kenya will boost young entrepreneurs with sh230 million at it seeks to grow their economic independence. Through the Shared Growth Agenda, 70,000 Kenyan youth will be empowered with the skills they need to get to the next level of their entrepreneurship.

The Shared Growth Agenda will be driven through three pillars – Education and Skills, Enterprise Development and Financial Inclusion.

The Education and Skills pillar will see the next generation of entrepreneurs equipped with the skills and development they need to secure employment. ReadytoWork is the flagship programme under this pillar and prepares young people for the world of work by providing online courses on a range of people, work, entrepreneurial and money skills.

Enterprise Development pillar is primed for start-ups. Barclays will help young people start, run and grow their businesses in order to generate income and employment.

Under the Financial Inclusion pillar, Barclays will enter into partnerships to facilitate the development of technology that will promote inclusive banking models in order to increase access to financial services to the under-served.

Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director Mr. Jeremy Awori said

“Youth unemployment in Africa is a big issue that stands in the way of inclusive prosperity and the ‘Africa rising’ narrative. We are therefore investing in solutions that will ensure that the society thrives socially and economically.”

The Shared Growth Agenda is meant to offer sustainable solutions to some of the key societal challenges through commercial business models. Mr. Awori said this focus is because the company believes that as it grows, society prospers and as society prospers, Barclays also grows.

Barclays will partner with seven organisations that promote the youth empowerment agenda to drive the initiative. These are Shining Hopes for Communities (SHOFCO), Junior Achievement, Care Kenya, Technoserve, International Youth Foundation (IYF), Strathmore University and the University of Nairobi.

“Rapid urbanisation in the continent presents unique opportunities that require innovative solutions. Business solutions and Private Public Partnerships are therefore required to help address social issues and deliver the Africa Rising agenda. Through the Shared Growth Agenda, we plan to offer sustainable solutions to some of societal challenges through commercial business models,”

added Mr. Awori.

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