By Erick Nyayiera.
Thirty four entrepreneurs from Busia, Siaya and Kisumu counties have been issued with cheques for Sh5.2 million by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Foundation as start-up capital for their businesses.
The beneficiaries of the start-up capital had successfully undergone a three months vocational skills training course at various institutions in their respective counties sponsored by KCB Foundation under the Tujiajiri programme.
In a speech read on her behalf by the KCB Foundation’s Manager, Rachael Gathoni during the disbursement of cheques at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST), the KCB Foundation Director Jane Mwangi said the programme seeks to create jobs, wealth and opportunities for the youth in the community.
Mwangi disclosed that the beneficiaries of the funds who were trained on the fields of construction, automotive engineering, beauty, domestic services and agribusiness will open up additional employment opportunities for the youth across the region.
She stated that the Foundation intends to resolve the perennial problem of unemployment among the youth in the country by equipping them with skills and funding the start-up of their business ideas.
The director revealed that so far over 2000 youths have benefited directly from the programme nationally since inception in 2016, ninety eight of who are from Siaya County who were trained on fish farming and marketing. Mwangi added that an additional 10,000 youth in the country are currently undergoing training after which they will undergo 12 months incubation where their viable business ideas will be funded.
She encouraged the youth to take advantage of the programme to realize their entrepreneurial dreams since the loans under the Tujiajiri programmes are zero rated.
Bondo MP, Gideon Ochanda who graced the occasion said he is committed to support the entrepreneurs from the region by doing regular follow ups to ensure that their businesses successfully grow to maturity.
Ochanda asked the beneficiaries to ensure that they repay back the loans on time so that others benefit.
He on the other hand urged KCB Foundation to consider up-scaling their programme and absorb many youths in the region since most of them are unemployed.
JOOUST Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Agong’ who hosted the event asked the beneficiaries to actualise the knowledge, skills and innovations acquired from the training.
“As an institution, JOOUST is ready to partner with KCB and other development partners to offer training that will transform the local community into entrepreneurs,” Prof Agong’ said.
The occasion was also attended by KCB branch managers from the three counties, Bumbe TTI Principal, Emanuel Wamalwa and Siaya County Deputy Director of Fisheries, Eman Otieno.