KCB Foundation the social investments arm of KCB Group has secured KES 10 billion ($100 million) funding from the MasterCard Foundation for scaling up its flagship2jiajiriprogram that seeks to empower youth entrepreneurs for job creation.

The funding has been extended under the MasterCard Foundations Young Africa Works programme which was launched yesterday in Nairobi. It is an innovative 5-Year (2019 -2024) nationwide programme to create 1 million direct and 500, 000 indirect jobs under the 2jiajiri programme.

Young Africa Works in Kenya is a public-private partnership between MasterCard Foundation, the Government of Kenya and the private sector to enable five million young people to access dignified work through expanding technical, vocational and work readiness skills that are critical to economic growth. KCB Foundation is one among seven beneficiaries in Kenya of this ambitious KES 30 billion (US$300 million) commitment by the MasterCard Foundation in 10 African countries to grow micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

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The programme will scale-up the existing 2jiajiri programme by providing technical training, Business Development Services, Access to finance and linkages to structured markets through an ecosystem approach.

For 2jiajiri, the initiative will focus on providing technical training to 114,000 beneficiaries from Micro and Small Enterprises in the three economic sectors of Agriculture, Manufacturing and Construction in Kenya, in line with the Governments Big 4 Agenda, said KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara.

One of the priorities this year is to drive business growth while contributing to the economic growth of all the markets we operate in. At the same time, we have focused on delivering impact to our communities through the KCB Foundation, he added.

Under the partnership, KCB Foundation will collaborate with over 20 partners in the agribusiness, manufacturing and construction sectors.

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This programme will be implemented in the three phases of 2jiajiri that encompass technical training, incubation where enterprises will access capital and Business Development Services and formal linkages to mainstream markets for the entrepreneur and labour markets for the skillers.

KCB Foundation Managing Director Jane Mwangi who attended the launch affirmed the Foundations commitment to youth empowerment.

This programme is premised on the fact that micro, small and medium enterprises in the informal sector make a significant yet under-acknowledged contribution to national economies in the East African region generally and for Kenya in particular. We are keen on capitalising on the existing strengths and opportunities in the informal sector so as to create more jobs and absorb greater numbers of youth within a shorter timeframe, said Ms Mwangi.

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