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KCB commits to create job opportunities for the youths

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) has partnered with Tharaka Nithi County government to offer unskilled and unemployed youths with a startup capital for their business with an aim to expand the vibrant informal sector.

Through KCB Foundation the bank was able to start a programme dubbed “2jiajiri initiative” in 2016 that enables youths to create employment in the informal sector through skills they acquire in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.

Speaking during a press briefing outside his office, Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki said that the County government through the department of gender, youth, sports and culture has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with KCB foundation to help create more job opportunities for unemployed youths.

The bank will give out credit loans to youths to enable them fund their business, expressed the governor, adding that most of them have work equipment but lack funds to start their businesses.

“We started a youth empowerment programme where we gave a number of them equipment to start businesses, this MoU will enable them get the startup capital from KCB to fund those business,” he said.

Njuki disclosed that they will pay back the interest acquired from the loans to ease the burden of high interest rates that the youths pay after borrowing loans from the Bank.

“Many youths complain of high interest rates because of that we shall help them in paying back the interest so they can have more money,” he said.

The Governor further revealed that together with the foundation they will pay school fees for youths who join TVET institutions to enable them complete their studies and acquire technical skills.

“If we sponsor 200 students, KCB will sponsor 200 students so we have the open check to decide the number of students joining the TVETs for sponsorship,” he said.

The governor encouraged many youths to join TVET institutes according to their skills and abilities.

He added that KCB will also have mentorship programs on how to run and manage businesses as well as training on bookkeeping to avoid business losses.

On her part, head KCB foundation Ms. Caroline Wanjeri Kihara acknowledged that they have signed a MoU with Tharaka Nithi County government to help them give technical skills to youths through TVET institutes.

She said that they will take the youths through three to six month courses to acquire technical skills after which they will take another 12 to 18 months courses to acquire business development skills.

Kihara noted that they realized many youths have potential but lack opportunities hence they created the “2jiajiri initiative” program to create more jobs.

“We realized many youths don’t have jobs and not all can go to university but many have the potential if given the right technical skills and supported in the right way including access to credit,” she said.

She explained that their intention is to ensure once one youth acquires a critical skill then they can be able to employ two or more others to work for them.

“Not everyone can do white collar jobs but you can contribute to the economy by offering critical services like catering where you don’t need an office but you can employ others to help you do the job,” she said

Kihara revealed that they will work with the micro credit department to give youths skills and funds to enable them to put the equipment given by the county government into use.

By Sharon Gitau and Danson Karanja

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