The Innovations team organized a Youth Entrepreneurship Day on the 22nd of October 2022, at Swahili Pot, Mombasa County, Kenya, in partnership with several external entrepreneurial stakeholders and other partners such as KEPSA, Somo Africa, Tech Kidz, Strathmore Business School, and Close The Gap.
The grand event attracted hundreds of people majority being women and young people who show-cased their products from as early as 8:00 am in their allocated stalls. There were more than twenty-two vendors already set up in the first hour. Most participants were drawn from Mombasa, Kwale, and Tana River with innovatively designed products ranging from Eco-Friendly Charcoal, Textile Merchandise, and Paintings to leather clothes and shoes among others.
The team also organized focused meetings with the youth and select panelists from the attending entrepreneurial stakeholders.
The first-panel discussion focused on empowering the youth with the right business mentality and practical ways of choosing the best line of entrepreneurial work.” The panelists encouraged the youth to consider enterprise development as a means of livelihood instead of relying only on formal employment. They demonstrated practical ways of identifying viable businesses and discussed getting past youths’ common challenges in entrepreneurship.
The second-panel discussion involved Kenya Small Business Development Centre(Strathmore University) representatives, Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN), and KEPSA. They took the youth through practical ways of identifying and getting grants and the required commitment of the sponsors.
Besides this, The French Red Cross launched a hybrid Women Social Entrepreneurship Program, attracting a lot of interest from the attending young women. There was also a robotics challenge whereby the beneficiaries joined into two groups for a Robotic Hackathon Presentation on making innovative gadgets for Sustainability. One team was doing an Automated Dustbin, and the other was doing a boat meant for persons with disability. Prizes were awarded to the winning team.
Led by the Overall Manager, Priyanka Patel, the Innovations Unit is at the forefront of organizing entrepreneurship initiatives and opportunities to raise awareness among youth on the importance of considering enterprise development as a livelihood. The Youth Entrepreneurship Day will be a yearly event.