40 youth from Narok County participating in training on entrepreneurship and life skills under Action Africa Help Kenya’s programme visited a farm shop (selling animal drugs, animal feed, etc) and a poultry farm in Kiambu County. The visits took place on 2 March 2018. The aim of the visits for the 38 male and 2 female is to give the youth an opportunity to interact with real-life work place examples of successful businesses they could learn from.
“The benefits of exposure visits like these are great for knowledge transfer and for facilitating learning. We are happy to show these young people the ropes in running a business,” said Salome while addressing the youth from her farm shop. Salome runs the business with the help of Paul Gachie who owns the franchise in addition to being a youth entrepreneurship mentor. Paul is also the founder of Jirani Mwema Sacco that encourages group savings. On 1 March 2018, the youth from Narok spent time at the Jirani Mwema Sacco. “I use my background in microfinance to broaden the outlook of these young people. This is what inspires me,” said Paul.
Paul also highlighted the importance of understanding the different stakeholders as they have a direct impact on one’s business. It is important to understand and be able to manage them. “My advice to the youth is to learn together and explore business opportunities”. “One of the advantages that the younger generation has is the access to technology. Like access to information and services on mobile ( MPESA for example) that we didn’t have back then.”
David gets insights from Lilian (left), who works with Salome and Paul at the farm shop
The trainees have various business interests in agrovet, livestock trading, grocery and boda boda operations (motorcycle taxis commonly found in East Africa). Action Africa Help International will continue to work with the youths to strengthen their skills in enterprise practices.
“Running a business anywhere in the world requires application of basic business principles. I believe that passion is a key asset in entrepreneurship. There were several challenges to overcome and many reasons to give up when starting a business. But I am passionate about this, and this is what has helped me to succeed and make a decent profit,” said Nelly as she tended to her poultry.
Among the youth, some like Solomon Ketuta already had a natural entrepreneurial ability. Salomon is a proud owner of a phone charger and chicken livestock business. He noticed that the demand had no supply as most people had to travel long distances in order to buy phone chargers. Solomon saw an opportunity and seized it. Today, he wishes to increase his income by opening a tailoring shop for school uniforms.
Just like other youths present, Solomon was able to fully grasp the training’s objective: “The key to a successful business is a proper market research, passion, enthusiasm”.
According to the UN Capital Development Fund the majority of the world’s youth live and work in rural areas where they face obstacles to engage in productive activities. The younger generation of entrepreneurs often face challenges when setting up and developing their business due to the lack of access to capital, start-up funding, business development services and limited knowledge.
One of the goals of Action Africa Help International is to support livelihood challenged communities through empowerment and promotion of entrepreneurial competencies among the youth. This exposure trip was one of the activities under the ‘Mara Community Livelihoods Improvement’ project, funded by Bread for the World. The project is working with youths from Naikkara and Siana wards in Narok West sub-county, Narok County.