Call for Solutions – Kenya

CFYE aims to co-invest in innovative, private sector-led partnerships that aim to address the youth unemployment challenge by creating, matching, and improving jobs for youth, with a particular focus on counties outside of Nairobi.Please direct any queries to For more information on our first Call for Solutions in Kenya, please visit our Kenya Portfolio page.

Deadline – October 2022 (tbd)

The Challenge

Kenya has a large population of job seekers that grows every day. Today, more than 35% of Kenya’s youth population (17 million) is unemployed or underemployed. For young women, this figure can even reach 50%. There are not enough jobs available to decrease the current volume of unemployed young Kenyans or even for all young people entering the labour market. 

 After Kenya’s devolved governance structure in 2013, there is continued opportunity for counties to boost economic growth and job creation through further enhancing capacity and solving challenges. 

Call for Solutions

CFYE’s Round 2 of Call for Solutions in Kenya (after the successful Round 1 launched in 2020), will give priority to partnerships that address county-based development through expansion of job opportunities for youth at scale.  

 In particular, we are seeking: 

  • Partnership/Consortium building between private sector employers and other actors, who will collaborate on solutions to impact youth employment  
  • County-based approaches: Solutions that impact youth employment in counties outside the capital city  
  • 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 will be launched by mid-September 2022.
  2. Webinar: We will host a webinar to formally launch the Call for Solutions in September 2022. An announcement with registration details will be made available on this page & sent to those who fill in the stay informed form below. The webinar will be recorded and the recording will be published on this page soon after the webinar. A second information webinar will be scheduled soon after to provide a refresher on the selection priorities and the submission process.
  3. Deadline: We expect all Concept Notes to be submitted by end of October 2022.


Digital Business Development Services

Digital Business Development Services use technology to create new value in business models, customer experiences and the internal capabilities that support its core operations. This covers both digital-only brands and traditional players that are transforming their businesses with digital technologies. 

Scaling up Green Jobs

Green growth means fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies. Green business models refer to companies or organisations with productive and environmentally & socially sustainable activities in amongst others the following sectors: agriculture, agribusiness, renewable energy, waste management & recycling. We are also very interested in employment creating projects focused on greening traditionally not sustainable business models/cases like construction, manufacturing, and transport. In general, any clean tech-based business models would be eligible. 

Creative Sector

Kenya’s vibrant creative sector shows great potential for providing income generation opportunities for youth. Sub-sectors such as crafts, fashion design, film, music, writing, visual art are examples of the vibrant talent brimming in Kenya, yet not seriously pursued as a career path by youth. Entrepreneurs within the creative sector are primarily informal. They typically lack business skills, and have little incentive or know-how to formalize their operations. CFYE is looking for solutions to support entrepreneurship development, improve existing jobs, and create or match employment opportunities at scale in this sector. 

Eligibility Criteria

The following eligibility criteria will apply: 

  1. Principles: Should be able to adhere to CFYE’s guiding principles & priorities. 
  2. Exclusion Criteria: The project and organizations involved in delivering the project must pass the FMO exclusion criteria. 
  3. Applicant Eligibility: Emphasis on consortiums working in at least two counties in Kenya. NGOs and business associations can be a lead applicant, but they must partner with at least one private sector employment partner in the consortium. 
  4. Local Presence:The lead organization or at least one of your consortium partners, has a local operating presence in the country. 
  5. Total Targets: Proposed project will create, match or improve at least 500 jobs for young men and women. 
  6. Women Targets: Of the total youth employment created, matched, or improved, at least 50% are for women.​ 
  7. Private Sector: For-Profit private companies are either a lead applicant or at least part of the consortium, as per established eligibility criteria for each country. ​ 
  8. Leverage & CFYE Contribution:  The applicant 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 have to be approved based on the guidance provided​​. 
  9. Youth: The jobs created, matched or improved would be for youth aged 18-35 years. Unless the minimum working age is otherwise stipulated by local labour laws.​ 


Want to apply?

Download the application brochure below.

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 the projects that will receive a grant. That means that only those projects that present a clear and convincing pathway to employment, lead to significant and sustainable results in terms of decent employment for youth, with a focus on young women, and can demonstrate high leverage will be selected. 

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