The startup ecosystem in Kisumu County has received a major boost with the establishment of a Business Incubation and Innovation Centre to help nurture entrepreneurial ideas among the youth in the area.
State Department of ICT and Innovations PS Jerome Ochieng’ together with the county governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o launched the Rotary Youth Business Incubation and Innovation Center.
The Centers’ objective is to provide an enabling environment that fosters innovation and incubation among the youths.
The initiative was jointly fulfilled by Nyong’os’ administration and the World Bank, through the Kenya Urban Support Programme.
On his part, the PS commended the establishment of the hub, saying it would encourage the young population to develop homegrown solutions to challenges bedeviling the county.
Ochieng also commissioned an ICT innovation hub dubbed, Ajira Youth Empowerment Centre, within the centre that will allow the youth access to online training and jobs through the Ajira Digital Programme.
According to the PS, the increasingly disruptive business environment has made governments and businesses across the globe rethink their innovation strategies.
“Many organizations have come to the realization that the only way to survive is to change consistently and constantly adapt to new conditions, while hedging long-term success not only on their ability to leverage current capabilities, but also on taking risks and exploring unknown areas through innovation,” he said.
Youths and women from the lakeside now join a global community of peers, innovators, entrepreneurs, industry leaders and resources, with the establishment of the facility in Kisumu.
Nyong’o said the centre presents an enabling environment for the youth to improve their competency through skills development using technology and creativity.
“The youth being one of the greatest resources and assets for the country’s socio-economic development, it is important that their energy, creativity and strength be channeled properly to contribute significantly to the nation’s economic growth and competitiveness in light of the changing labour market,” he said.
The Governor added that the establishment of the business hub, would be critical in connecting young people to sustainable income-generating opportunities and create avenues for them to grow as job creators and responsible leaders.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs has established over 200 Ajira Youth Empowerment Centres across the country, that offer the youth free training on digital skills and access to digitally-enabled jobs.
The program has helped in the jobs creation for the youth, thus improving the socio-economic well-being of their communities.
By Robert Ojwang’