Nairobi News


How newly unveiled ‘Plug Mtaani’ initiative will empower Kenyan youth

Kenyan youth will have an opportunity to practice the culture of saving and investment through the newly unveiled ‘Plug Mtaani-Vijana2Invest’ initiative.

The initiative, which has been compared to the popular American business reality TV show ‘Shark Tank’, the initiative aspires to unlock the entrepreneurial potential of Kenya’s younger generation.

The initiative will provide comprehensive business development and management training, focusing on vital soft skills. It targets youth aged between 18 and 35 years from diverse sub-counties across all the 47 counties in Kenya.

The training and capacity-building modules will draw from the International Labour Organization Business Management Training Programme known as ‘Start and Improve Your Business’ (ILO-SIYB), in addition to a dedicated savings and investment master class.

‘Plug Mtaani-Vijana2Invest’ is a collaborative effort by the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), Radico Kenya, Institute of Certified SIYB Trainers (ICST), and Crescent 360 Media, in partnership with Mastercard.

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This youth-centric programme will culminate in a business idea competition similar to ‘Shark Tank’, with the goal of nurturing and realizing the entrepreneurial aspirations of Kenya’s youth.

The competition will provide targeted support through productive capacity development, funding opportunities, and networking.

The competition will commence at the county level, where young entrepreneurs have been encouraged to submit one-minute video pitches of their business ideas to a selection panel. Those chosen will undergo a five-day workshop.

Winners at the county level will then advance to the national stage, where they will participate in a 10-day boot camp and subsequently craft five-minute video pitches.

A panel of judges will identify and endorse the national award recipients, followed by a 12-week public voting period leading up to the final award ceremony in December.

The most popular business idea, determined by public vote, will secure the grand prize of Sh10 million to jumpstart their venture. The first and second runners-up at the national level will receive Sh5 million and Sh2 million, respectively.

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At the county level, winners will be rewarded with Sh50,000, while the first and second runners-up will walk away with Sh 40,000 and Sh30,000, respectively.

The event launch was graced by notable figures including Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts, Ababu Namwamba, Nairobi Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri and KenInvest Acting Managing Director June Chepkemei.

The programme’s patron is State House Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service, Felix Koskei.

During the event, Mr Namwamba affirmed the government’s commitment to prioritizing empowering the youth in the country.

“We’re under very clear instructions from President William Ruto that the agenda of the youth of Kenya is the primary agenda of this administration. He knows that he is President today courtesy of the youth of Kenya. He believes that it’s the youth that hold the promise of realizing a new Kenya,” Mr Namwamba said.

Mr Muchiri said the initiative is not just an event, but a major stride towards creating a more inclusive, empowered and financially resilient youth community in the country.

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