Collins Owiti has more than doubled his income, one year after benefiting from the KCB Foundation’s 2Jiajiri youth empowerment program. He smiles all the time when you talk to him, indicating a man satisfied with the investment made to him.
Having worked as a mechanic for four years, he had never seen himself own a garage and employ people but unknown to him at the time, a world of excitement and growth lay ahead. He took the risk to apply during the first cohort and was successful. At the time, he worked in another garage, making sh20, 000 a month. Today, he makes sh40, 000 after he has already paid taxes and his two mechanics.
The motor vehicle electrician was last month awarded credit of sh100, 000 which he needs to pay in 11 months, starting next month. He wants to use the money to increase his equipment to better grow his garage in Makadara. The credit is interest free.
It is the same story Sarah Mburu, a staff of Ashleys for five years shares. She received an SMS about being offered a scholarship at YMCA to study beauty. She has been working as a customer care staff but decided she needed to upgrade her skills with the 2Jiajiri program being timely to her ambitions.
After seven months of training on manicure, facials, pedicure, massages and skin care, skills she did not posses, she now does beauty at Ashleys even as she still undertakes customer service. She has increased her income in the process.
Sarah will be the first beneficiary of a partnership between Ashleys and KCB Foundation that will see her set up and run a branch of Ashleys. The company will look for a location and the business will be financed by KCB. Sarah will run it supported by other beneficiaries who will go through the Ashleys Academy. Terry Mungai, the CEO of Ashleys heaped praise on Sarah for being diligent during her training to merit the partnership.
Andrew Juma from the KCB communications department says that when the students apply, there is minimal vetting which is to check their passion and interest to grow as individuals and the business.
It is the same story that Charles Gathungu, a plumber shares. He worked for someone but has in the last eight months been independent. He was supported to study plumbing at Eastlands College of Technology.
Today he has employed four youth and on course to reach the 10, than KCB hopes every youth who goes through the program can employ.
2jiajiri works through 4 key milestones on the path to self-sufficiency: Technical and vocational training to acquire the skills needed to produce competitive goods and services; access to financial services including start-up and working capital to establish and grow an enterprise; Enterprise management support through Business Development and Advisory services, where skilled professionals assist in formalising the micro-enterprises that are started by the youth to ensure that they are legally compliant, financially sound and strategically competitive; and formal linkages to customers and suppliers in the larger market that ensure long-term sustainability.
The core areas of the youth empowerment program are building and construction, automotive maintenance and repair, beauty and personal care, domestic services and agribusiness.
According to the bank, the pilot phase in 2016, saw 2,234 students enrolled in the programme. They were trained in 114 vocational centres, spread across 20 counties. Of these, 518 have established businesses that have qualified for financing from KCB. Another 270 have secured paid internships whilst the remaining 1,446 are in the process of founding and registering new enterprises that will be considered for financing and enterprise growth support.
In this second cohort, the program will have 10,000 beneficiaries both from KCB Foundation and other partners. The students will be spread across 70 vocational training institutions over 28 counties.