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USAID business program empowering the youth

Kiambu youths involved in business have benefited from Kenya Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), a program targeting capacity building and promoting MSMEs to become profitable and sustainable enterprises.

The program which is a brainchild of Strathmore University with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims at empowering Kenyan businesses at county levels by creating linkages with international businesses especially those located in the United States of America (USA).

The program is set to benefit young business people in six counties namely Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, Mombasa, Makueni, Isiolo, and Kiambu for a period of 5 years.

According to Kiambu county Chief Officer for Trade Mary Njoroge about 33 youth in business have been trained through the program on business ideation and innovation.

“The training has given our youths an opportunity to learn how to identify a business idea, evaluate a business idea, and hence has deepened their understanding of their target market,” Njoroge said.

She further lauded the program saying it will empower youths in business by improving the performance of MSMEs that are significant to the growth of the County’s economy.

“We are committed to supporting and incubating business ideas till they become profitable and sustainable business ventures as this would mean creating more job opportunities for the youths,” Njoroge said.

Purity Njambi who owns a beauty shop in Kiambu town said she is looking forward to significant growth in her business since the program gives them access to consultancy services and training at both local and international levels.

“We are happy that SBS will build linkages between Kenyan and U.S Small and Medium Enterprises to transfer best practices and proven models from the U.S. to us,” Njambi added.

A recent National Economic Survey report by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) indicates that SMEs constitute 98 percent of all business in Kenya, create 30 percent of the jobs annually as well as contribute 3 percent of the GDP.

By Grace Naishoo

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