Young people have been urged to apply for the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. Past beneficiaries of the government fund have urged their counterparts to apply for various state-funded programs available to realize their dreams.
Among the available projects are the Uwezo Fund, the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and Ajira Digital which are designed to help women and youth to access affordable loans to start businesses.
Four beneficiaries of these projects took advantage of the opportunity to educate the youths during the weekly interactive virtual meeting that Government Spokesperson Colonel Cyrus Oguna organized and presided over. They gave testimonies about how they gradually used the loans that were given to them to work on their projects.
“As a women’s group, we initially took Sh.100, 000 from the Uwezo Fund which we converted to table banking which made it essentially easier for us to repay the loans,” Charity Mugeli said.
According to Mugeli, who is the chairperson of Kiambu Women Group, the 10% interest that members’ loans accumulated helped them pay off their debts within the allotted six months. The organization was able to buy a plot of land in Gatuanyaga, Kiambu County, thanks to further loans.
Backing the same idea, Sacco matatu driver Michael Njuguna said that, thanks to a Sh.100,000 loan, he is now successfully selling eggs to his 22-person group as a side business.
Another beneficiary, Grace Mwai, is now an accomplished graphics designer and a successful social media marketer and developer, thanks to the Ajira Digital Training and Mentorship.
Mwai has increased her income from Sh20,000 to Sh30,000 by independently working online to create websites, personal profiles and social media management for corporate companies.
Mekatilili Mweru claims that the Youth Enterprise Development Fund granted her a Sh2 million loan with an interest rate of 6% per year and a flexible payback period of six years, which she claims is excessively low in comparison to the 18% paid by commercial banks.
“Previously, I used to earn Sh. 60,000 from the sale of 600 broilers after six weeks, but since I received the loan, I am now able to generate Sh. 80,000 every two weeks from 1900 broilers,” Mekatilili expounded.
“I was able to get the loan because of my past conservative investments in the bank and a title deed I utilized as collateral.” the University of Nairobi law student and farmer continued.
The enterprise officers train the loan recipients in appropriate business practices and teach them how to practice prudent financial management.
Oguna emphasized that there are many qualifications to be eligible for a loan under the Youth Fund programs. He urged everyone to sign up for Ajira Digital, which offers two days of training and one month of mentoring, in order to learn and start earning.