Some 1,200 enterpreneurs are set to receive mentorship and financing from a Sh56.8 million grant awarded to the United States International University-Africa.
The USIU-Africa through its Global Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship (GAME) Centre is implementing a project seeking to uplift the capacity of youth in agribusiness across the country.
Dubbed the Metro-Agrifood Living Lab model, the project brings together “a unique set of activities and services that create the needed synergy” to support learning, innovation and business development.
The funds for the project have been provided by the Cultivate Africa’s Future (CultiAF) — a joint programme of the International Development Research Center of Canada (IDRC) and the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
“This project is as a result of the success we have achieved in the first phase and we will employ the same working relationship to ensure that we have an equally successful project and reach out to more youth and women in Kenya,” said USIU-Africa Vice-Chancellor Paul Zeleza.
He lauded the project adding that food security can only be achieved through actively engaging the youth in agri-business enterprises.
The project will expose trainees — 60 percent of who will be women — to business concept evaluation and development, business planning, marketing and feasibility studies.
It will also provide linkages to financing and marketing channels, strategic advice and legal assistance, specialised technical assistance and development of a business plan to be presented to potential financiers.
Successful applicants selected from the national and county governments’ agricultural officers will be assigned business mentors.
Recruitment drives will be conducted in Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Muranga, Malindi, Kilifi, Tana River, Mombasa, Kakamega, Vihiga, Kisumu, Busia, Nakuru, Bomet, Kericho, Baringo, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu, Pokot, and Trans-Nzoia.
The project will also focus on innovative solutions to improve food security in Eastern and Southern Africa.