Country Portfolio Kenya
CFYE launched a Call for Solutions in Kenya in 2020. The Call invited businesses with innovative solutions to apply for the grant. Even though the Call was open for all sectors, we especially focused on business solutions falling under these two windows: Digital Business Development Services and Green Jobs. Following the success of the first Call, a second Call was launched in 2022 with the results being finalised. The below portfolio includes only the winners from the first Call of Solutions. Beatrice Gichohi is the Country Lead for Kenya.
Kenya’s Job Market & Youth
In Kenya, youth (18-34) make up around 29% of the total population, 35% of whom are either unemployed or underemployed. The country’s economy is struggling to produce enough productive jobs for young people. It is estimated that the recent global economic recession and lockdown will further exacerbate the unemployment rate. Although the latter affects youth in different categories, urban youth face significant unemployment, ranging between 35% to 60%.
Youth in Kenya have diverse aspirations regarding the sectors they want to find employment in, including transport, manufacturing, agriculture, tech/digital, and the creative industry. Many young Kenyans also have great ambitions for participating in meaningful economic activities through self-employment.
The CFYE Youth Action Research conducted by Youth Champs in Kenya found that young people strive to find jobs that are compatible with their interests, provide security, opportunities for personal and professional development, and an inclusive work environment.
Most of the economic growth in Kenya is in the informal sector. Most new jobs created continue to be low productivity self-employed or informal wage jobs. SMEs in Kenya lack business skills and access to credit/funding or markets to grow their business. On top of this, government policies for starting a business are unfavorable, further discouraging many from becoming entrepreneurs.
We received many diverse initiatives in the first Call that presented innovative ideas for tackling youth unemployment. Witnessing the potential of the market and the strong youth ambitions for decent work, CFYE launched a second Call for Solutions in Kenya.
Our Portfolio in Kenya
Based on the unmet labour demand in Kenya, the youth’s aspirations, and the economy’s potential, we have developed a portfolio focusing on Digital Business Development Services and Green Jobs. Our portfolio in Kenya plans to accomplish more than 32.000 decent jobs for youth. Around 18.000 of these projected jobs will be created, while the others will either match youth to decent employment or improve the existing jobs.
Young Kenyan women face extra challenges in finding decent employment. Our partnerships with Kenyan private entities seek to eliminate these barriers. Therefore, young Kenyan women will occupy more than 18.000 of the planned jobs.
CFYE’s portfolio in Kenya consists of different sectors creating high-productivity jobs for youth. Our current portfolio is a mix of waged employment and self-employment initiatives in line with the aspirations of young Kenyans. The private entities we partner with bring innovative solutions to agriculture supply chains, cybersecurity, waste management, and many other industries, with one clear goal: to engage youth in meaningful employment.
CFYE’s support will improve the program’s effectiveness and identify what works so that the model can be replicated and scaled in Kenya and beyond. The Fund’s expertise in decent work will help create meaningful and inclusive work in construction.
With the financial support of the CFYE, Healthy Entrepreneurs Kenya will be able to scale at maximum potential in the coming three years. The grant will also enable us (along with other co-funders) to further expand our model to 10 counties in Kenya.
CFYE’s funding and technical assistance will support MGA’s integration of collectors agents, AAPs, and consumers into a formalized plastic waste collection model and help us establish new partnerships with relevant product and service providers.
To unlock both commercial finance and public investment for replication, CFYE funding will be catalytic in helping Sanivation demonstrate the waste-to-energy factory at scale and streamline the partnership structure.
CFYE’s support will be crucial for TakaTaka Solutions’ expansion. The grant funding will make it possible to attract commercial funding, particularly integrate waste pickers into the waste value chain in an inclusive manner.
CFYE’s contribution allows MG to speed up the creation of hubs in rural areas. Moreover, MG will be able to organize new transport systems, and implement the required international quality standards and social certification procedures.