Closed: Call for Solutions – Kenya

CFYE wants to co-invest in innovative private sector-led initiatives that provide businesses with access to suitably skilled personnel and realise decent employment for youth in the following sectors: green jobs, agri-business, renewable energy, e-processing, and e-health. Please direct any queries related to Kenya’s Call for Solutions to For more information on our scope of work in Kenya, please visit our Kenya Portfolio page.

Deadline – 4 September (EOD, local time) 2023

The Challenge

The large population of job seekers in Kenya, which continues to grow daily, presents a pressing issue in the country. Currently, over 35% of Kenya’s youth population (17 million) is either unemployed or underemployed, with the figure even reaching 50% for young women. These numbers underscore the need for increased job opportunities to accommodate youth’s skills and ambitions and ensure their successful integration into the labour market.

Amidst these challenges, the rise of digital health has emerged as a promising development, fueled by the widespread use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, coupled with easy access to mobile data. This technological leap has significantly improved access to healthcare information for individuals across Kenya. Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for creating, testing, and adopting digital health solutions across Africa, including Kenya. These solutions have played a crucial role in addressing the population’s healthcare needs while minimising physical contact and reducing the burden on traditional healthcare systems. 

While the issue of unemployment persists in Kenya, the growth of digital health presents a ray of hope, as it not only offers opportunities for job creation within the digital health sector but also enhances healthcare access and delivery. The convergence of these two developments has the potential to make a positive impact by leveraging digital health technologies to address health challenges while simultaneously generating employment opportunities for young Kenyans. By harnessing the power of digital health, Kenya can strive towards a future where the burgeoning population of job seekers finds new avenues for employment within the expanding digital health landscape. 

Call for Solutions

CFYE’s Round 3 of the Call for Solutions in Kenya will prioritise partnerships that offer digital business development services (BDS) and green job opportunities to youth at scale, focusing on agro-processing, agro-logistics, renewable energy, and e-health solutions. 

In particular, we are seeking the following: 

  • Partnership/Consortium building between private sector employers and other actors, who will collaborate on solutions to impact youth employment. 
  • Systemic solutions: Priority will be given to innovative models that aim to address systemic bottlenecks, positively impacting the ecosystem as a whole. 

Key Dates: 

  1. Opening: The Kenya Call for Solutions launched on 29 July 2023. 
  2. Webinar: A pre-recorded webinar will be posted on this page in August. The webinar will share CFYE’s selection priorities in Kenya, key evaluation criteria, and more details on the submission process. 
  3. Deadline: The Concept Notes submission deadline is 4 September 2023.  


Digital Business Development Services

Many jobs today rely on technology, as it has become an integral part of our daily lives and work processes. Digital Business Development Services refer to the use of digital technologies to enhance and optimize business development processes. Digital BDS aims to help businesses leverage the power of digital technologies to improve their operations and drive growth in today’s increasingly digital world. Examples of Digital BDS jobs are Software Developers, Data Scientists, Cybersecurity Analysts, Digital Marketers, Robotics Engineers, and Video Game Designers. 

Green Jobs

Green jobs are a key strategy for addressing climate change and promoting sustainable economic development. They refer to employment opportunities in industries that contribute to environmental sustainability and the transition towards a more sustainable economy. These jobs are typically associated with efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote renewable energy, conserve natural resources, and minimize pollution and waste. Green jobs can be found in a variety of sectors, including energy production and distribution, transportation, construction, agriculture, manufacturing, and waste management. Examples of green jobs include solar panel installers, wind turbine technicians, energy auditors, sustainable building designers, organic farmers, recycling coordinators, and environmental scientists. 

Eligibility Criteria

The following eligibility criteria will apply to all windows: 

  1. Principles: Should be able to adhere to CFYE’s guiding principles & priorities. 
  2. Exclusion Criteria: The project and organisations involved in delivering the project must pass the FMO exclusion criteria. 
  3. Private-Sector Driven: We are seeking applications from private-sector employers. NGOs and business associations are welcome to apply, but they must partner with at least one private sector employer who will create, match, and/or improve jobs for youth. We especially welcome applications from consortia. 
  4. Local Presence: The lead organisation or at least one consortium partner must have a local operating presence in the country. 
  5. Sector Focus: Priority will be given to green jobs, agri-business, renewable energy, e-processing, and e-health. Organisations from other sectors are also eligible to apply. 
  6. Total Targets: The proposed project must create, match, or improve at least 500 jobs for young men and women. 
  7. Gender Targets: Of the total youth employment created, matched, or improved, at least 50% of jobs should be for women. 
  8. Employment Type: Jobs must be decent. Full-time, permanent jobs are preferred, but part-time jobs will also be considered. 
  9. Leverage & CFYE Contribution: The applicant’s co-investment must be at least equal to the contribution requested by CFYE. The minimum CFYE co-investment is €200,000. Sources of co-funding must be approved based on the provided guidance. 
  10. Youth: The jobs created, matched, or improved should be for youth aged 18-35. 
  11. Project Duration: The project duration must be a maximum of two years

Want to apply?

Download the application brochure below. You can find the link to our application portal in Concept Note Template and Guidance.

Relevant Documentation

Want to know what to expect in our application process? Please have a look at the below documents.

Competitive Process

The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment will apply a competitive process to select projects that will receive a grant. This means that only projects presenting a clear and convincing pathway to employment, leading to significant and sustainable results in decent jobs for youth, with a specific focus on young women, and demonstrating high leverage will be selected. 

Webinar Recording

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