UN HABITAT, the University of Colorado and partners held a two-day seminar this week to launch a new research study in Kenya, India and Nepal to see how social entrepreneurship relates to sustainable community and urban development. “UN HABITAT believes that research such as this will allow us to provide the global community a baseline from which to better understand how to support social entrepreneurship,” said Mr. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Director of monitoring and research at UN-HABITAT.
The Kenyan phase of the study will take place in the capital Nairobi over the next three weeks and will involve many government and non-government partners.
Mr. Stephen Jalenga of the Kenyan Ministry of Youth Affairs said the Kenyan government was taking the lead in promoting entrepreneurship through its Youth Fund. In its most recent budget, he said the government had allocated the equivalent of USD 3.8 million to youth through various projects, some of which were modeled after the One Stop Youth Resource Information Centres developed by UN HABITAT and its partners through the Global Partnership Initiative for Urban Youth Development.
The second day of seminar moved to airobi's downtown One Stop Youth Resource Information Centre which has the back of the University of Colorado.
“To better understand social entrepreneurship, we felt that we needed to go to a space in Nairobi where young entrepreneurs were creating their own businesses and receiving training,” said Mr. Doug Ragan, Coordinator of the University of Colorado research programme in Kenya. “We were inspired by the innovation and ingenuity of the young entrepreneurs we met there, and they provided valuable input into the research process.”
The Kenyan phase of the research project will be undertaken for the next 3 weeks. The project is scheduled for completion in all three countries by year's end with a report to follow early in 2009.