The International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Youth Entrepreneurship Facility (YEF) has stepped up its program to tackle youth unemployment in Kenya through the roll-out of an integrated business skills training program.
ILO-YEF National Program Coordinator George Waigi said the organisation will invest some 580,000 U.S. dollars to boost business management skills to potential and existing entrepreneurs at the Small and Medium Enterprise level through its flagship Start & Improve Your Business (SIYB) program.
“Strengthening and growing the small enterprise sector across Kenya plays a vital role in economic growth. It also responds to the unemployment challenge - creating an environment for the creation of more and better employment for young people,” Waigi told journalists in Nairobi on Thursday.
The SIYB program supports emerging and existing micro-and-small- scale entrepreneurs to develop and strengthen their basic business management skills for better business performance and profitability.
Through this training program, YEF aims to support young women and men establish and manage sustainable enterprises. By fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, the program plays a crucial role in poverty eradication.
“We are aiming to reach at least 15,000 young women and men across Kenya with this training program in the next three years,” Waigi said.
YEF has undertaken training for trainers and Master Trainer’s SIYB program to kick-start the initiative. In 2011, the Youth Entrepreneurship Facility began a process of training new trainers across Kenya to deliver business training to entrepreneurs.
This process is culminating with the certification of the first group of trainers to successfully meet the criteria of the ILO in delivering the training program.
A total of eight SIYB Master Trainers, who oversee the delivery of the program on a national level, and 34 SIYB Trainers will be certified. “To reach these young entrepreneurs, developing a strong cadre of competent trainers is crucial,” said Waigi.
Developing trainers in the SIYB material is just one in a range of other initiatives ILO-YEF is taking to stimulate SMEs in the country. Among these other initiatives is its sponsorship of the annual Chase Bank Enablis ILO Business Launchpad.
The SIYB program has a number of training modules suiting entrepreneurs at all stages of business. Generate Your Business Idea (GYBI) takes potential entrepreneurs through the process of generating a viable business idea.
Start Your Business (SYB) helps emerging entrepreneurs develop concrete business plans, whether they are entrepreneurs currently operating small, informal business activities or entrepreneurs who have a great idea but don’t know how to start.
Improve Your Business (IYB) introduces existing entrepreneurs to good principles of business management, including marketing, costing, stock control, record keeping, build and business planning. These skills can help transition small business toward growth.