Background and objectives:
From the learning and findings of the successful Environmental Entrepreneurship Programme (GPI-EEP), an expanded programme to support urban youth social entrepreneurship has been collaboratively designed by UN-HABITAT Partners and Youth Section and Environmental Youth Alliance.
A training and incubation program for youth-led businesses, this programme combines vocational and entrepreneurship training to a cross-section of urban youth groups, with a view to enhancing and strengthening their capacity to generate income and sustainable livelihoods through socially and environmentally sound business activities in their communities.
As the implementing partner, Environmental Youth Alliance will focus most of the activities on engaging youth in entrepreneurship and livelihood activities that flow directly from ‘the Shelter dividend’ or economic opportunities that flow directly from urban upgrading, and its forwards and backwards linkages.
The business incubation centre will be institutionalized as a youth led initiative within the Nairobi One Stop Youth Information and Resource Centre, in a manner that can be replicated in other urban locations with either One Stop or We are the Future Centres through similar Urban Entrepreneurship programming.
The following is an overview of the Business Incubation process, which will take at least 10 months and, as the core component of the UEP, will run until June 2009:
- Group formation and governance – 1 month
- Help with incorporation, setting up bank accounts, saving schemes, and simple governance and record keeping systems.
- Business and work skills training – 4 months
- Experiential business simulation designed for low literacy and numeracy will build financial literacy, planning, and marketing skills. It is also designed to eventually be led by the youth or non-specialist municipal staff.
- EYA will deliver an interpersonal work skills training module to increase the employability of youth entrepreneurs. The course will explore professional ethics, going beyond expectation, customer service, speaking with confidence, proper attitudes, acting with integrity, and expectations in the work and business world.
- Vocational (sector specific technical) training or internships for 200 youth – 1 to 3 months
- This training will be delivered through existing training institutions, and other existing community partners specializing in each sector and will be tailored to the needs of the youth.
- EYA believes in hands on training, and given good placements many vocational skills can be learned in internships and attachments. EYA will seek to deliver training through internships or attachments for wherever possible and appropriate.
- Ongoing access to mentorship and technical assistance – 10 months
- This will take place at the one stop with program beneficiaries making appointments to see our Urban Entrepreneurship Coordinator at least once a month, as well as participate in a monthly networking event.
- From time to time EYA will conduct site visits to verify progress and diagnose problems.
- Access to micro-finance, loans, equity or expanded markets – 10 months
- Through links to partner MFI’s, beneficiary groups will be assisted to meet loan criteria whether savings programs, budgets, and record keeping.
- EYA may create other financial mechanisms to accelerate business growth such as loan guarantees, revolving funds, and equipment loans.
- EYA will seek opportunities to bundle groups together and link them with larger internal and external markets
- A youth-led business incubation space – ongoing
- Located at the Nairobi One Stop Youth Information and Resource Centre, a dedicated room within the Center will be furnished with business simulation materials and resources that support entrepreneurial activities
- The space will be renovated and furnished
- The space will be open to all youth, with some time reserved for EYA clients
- Training will be provided to the One Stop Centre’s staff to continue to facilitate business incubation functions through maintenance of relationships existing partner groups and youth led groups.
This programme commenced in June 2008. Reporting of results will be available in June 2009.