Two organisations that support entrepreneurship have partnered to launch a project to transform young technology enthusiasts into successful entrepreneurs.
The initiative, launched by Enablis Entrepreneurial Network and NetHope on June.
14 this year, targets 100 tech savvy youth from universities, technical institutions and technological incubation centres among others. Overall, it will support 100 innovative technology ideas from Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana.
Speaking during the sign-off event, Fredrick Kariuki, Regional Director for Enablis East Africa said IT skills are currently in high demand and are generating opportunities for youth to participate in core segments of the economy.
“If they can get the necessary real-world entrepreneurial training and support, then they can start businesses that will create jobs for other unemployed youth,” Kariuki said. “We want to inculcate entrepreneurship skills in local IT youth and create a fertile ground for them to develop their skills by training and funding them through loans.”
The IT entrepreneur project kicked off in Nairobi with a series of awareness sessions to be followed by the selection process where participants will be trained.
They will later present their ideas to a panel of judges, who will pick the best ideas that will be nurtured into viable businesses.
Over the next year, the selected IT entrepreneurs will be trained on how to develop sustainable business plans, and how to start and run their businesses effectively.
They will also have access to platforms that create marketing linkages and funding for their startups.
The entries will be evaluated, scored, and ranked with the 100 finalists from three countries being announced in August 2012. The winners will be accredited into the Enablis membership where they will receive personalised support for the next year aimed at empowering them to start businesses that are expected to create a combined 150 jobs.
Senior Global Program Director of NetHope Frank Schott said that the partnership with Enablis will foster innovation and creativity among youth and create the much needed jobs. ” Young women and men have so many great ideas that need to be tapped,” said Schott. “We are targeting the youth who have the ideas but lack avenues to put the ideas into reality.”
NetHope is a nonprofit consortium of 34 of the world’s largest international nongovernmental organisations. The NetHope Academy designs, develops and implements ICT capacity building programmes in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
The project will run concurrently in Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana.
In Kenya, Enablis and NetHope target 50 entrepreneurs, 20 in Kigali and 30 from Accra. Moses Mwaura, President of Enablis Africa said that most IT innovations are created by young people who do not have the skills to transform them into successful businesses. “By bridging this gap, we believe that more young people will come up with solutions which will present thriving business opportunities,” said Mwaura.