The National Government — through the Ministry of Investment, Trade & Industry, the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Arts & Sports, relevant Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs) and Partners has launched ‘Plug Mtaani Business Idea Competition’.
The Minister for investment, trade and industry Madam Rose Mutuku has made a compelling call to the youth, urging them to join the Plug Mtaani – Vijana 2 Invest initiative competition.
Recognizing the potential of young people in driving social change, Minister Rose emphasizes the importance of their active involvement in this National Government program which is being implemented by county governments.
By becoming part of this movement, the youth can contribute to transforming their neighborhoods and positively impacting the lives of fellow citizens. Minister Rose highlights the program’s aim to provide affordable electricity to remote areas, enhancing economic opportunities and improving living conditions.
By joining Plug Mtaani – Vijana 2 Invest young individuals can unleash their potential, foster community development, and create a brighter future for all.
The Competition encompasses a nationally-coordinated approach to youth development programs and incorporates the following: capacity building, training & mentorship, financial literacy, and soft skills development, among other aspects.
The program targets unemployed youth with basic literacy skills for a duration of 10 years in two phases of 5 years each.
This initiative is being undertaken while acknowledging other similar ongoing National Government interventions such as Hustler Fund, Youth Fund, Uwezo Fund, Kenya Youth Empowerment Opportunities Project (KYEOP) and Talanta Hela.
To successfully implement the initiative, The National Government, in collaboration with the Council of Governors, will ensure the County Ministry of Trade, Industry, MSMEs, Innovation & Cooperatives and the County Ministry of Culture, Gender, Youth, ICT, Sports & Social Services coordinate the intervention at the County Level, while constantly liaising with all partners to achieve the goals and objectives of the initiative.
The Initiative will train 200 youth in each County, translating to 9,400 in the Republic.
It will encompass four steps in its roll-out:
Step I: Training and Capacity Building (20 Youth per County (five days of training);
Step II: County Business Ideas Competition (Youth to pitch their ideas, judges to select three categories, County Awards is carried out);
Step III: National Youth Boot Camp (three winners per County, five days training. The winners will be subjected to public voting);
Step IV: National Awards Ceremony (Final Award of Winners on 12th December 2023, Top Award – 10m).
The Training and Capacity Building component will entail following thematic areas:
1. Creating a saving and investment culture;
- Linking youth to financing opportunities, grants and investors;
Training on how to develop a bankable business plan; and
Training on how to generate feasible and innovative business ideas.
NB: The training and capacity building will be undertaken by Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) and ILO-Institute of Certified SIYB Trainers.
There are six (6) broad categories for Selection of the Youth Innovators, as follows:
Food Security/Agriculture, e.g. post-harvest loss management, Yield improvement initiatives, value-addition and aggregation;Housing e.g. low-cost housing building materials; Creative Arts; Energy Conservation/Environmental/Natural Resource Management; Health and wellness Innovation; Manufacturing e.g. leather industry; and any other relevant category as may be unanimously agreed by the Technical Committee.
While the nine winners in each County will proceed for competition at the National level, the 191 innovatto left will undergo more training and follow-ups.
The business idea development will be guided by the following questions: What is the need (the existing gap/problem)? What is the product? Who is your customer? How will the product reach your customer? How will your products impact the environment?
In Kitui County, the initiative will be implemented by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, MSMEs, Innovation and Cooperatives (MTIMIC) and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Youth, ICT, Sports & Social Services (CGYISSS).