Youth fund loans have the potential of eradicating the desolate unemployment situation in Kenya but is it really helping our youths?
We are here to find out how to apply and access youth fund loans in Kenya and what should be done to make the initiative worthwhile.
A country that does not invest in their youth is killing its future and in the realization of this, the Kenyan government deemed it necessary to start the youth fund initiative.
The levels of unemployment in Kenya are at an all-time high and there seems to have no hope for more white-collar jobs.
Youth fund loans in Kenya
Year in year out, universities are releasing thousands of graduates into an already saturated job market.
As a result, many young people despite their academic qualifications remain unemployed.
The youth Enterprise Development Fund, popularly known as youth fund Kenya is a government initiative under the ministry of public service, Gender and Youth Affair.
This initiative is aimed at empowering the young people of Kenya by financing their ideas and advocating for self-employment other than relying on white-collar jobs which in the first place are not available.
I can tell you for sure that Kenya youths are entrepreneurs but the whole issues of qualifying for youth fund in Kenya has been a dilemma for most of them.
The government was very optimistic while launching the program and it hoped that all those talents and ideas at the grassroots would be natured.
However, the people entrusted with rolling out the initiative have frustrated the purpose of Youth Fund Kenya and as a result, very little to no impact has been seen.
Challenges facing youth fund in Kenya
There are several barriers which have become a huge obstacle for youths applying for youth fund.
We are going to highlight some of these barriers and bureaucracies with the hope that they may be reviewed and hopefully removed.
If the Youth Enterprise Development Fund is to service its idealized purpose, then these challenges have to be addressed.
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Youths must be in groups to get the fund
Although any young person should be able to get the loan even as an individual, the people entrusted to issue the funds only seem to give the priority to people who are in groups.
As a result, individuals with brilliant ideas remain in the dark with their ideas which are only good on paper.
The government should ensure that every young person should be allowed to acquire funding, whether in a group or not.
This way people will be provoked to think and come up with ideas that can benefit them
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Lack of common goals in youth groups
Because of the emphasis on giving the funds to people who are in groups only, youths congregate to form a group even without a common goal just for the sake of getting the money.
After they get the money, they divide it amongst themselves and just like that the money goes to the drains.
Take for example a group of ten that receives 200,000/= as funding. Each youth pockets 20,000/= which they rarely use to start any business because it is not adequate.
Imagine if the same amount was used to finance an individual’s business proposal. We couldn’t be talking about the same issues we are talking about today.
Corruption at the constituency offices
Officials also tend to be biased and give the youth fund to people they know or people who provide them with bribes.
This has been one of the biggest barriers to the success of the Youth fund in Kenya.
Types of youth fund loans
You can access various types of youth fund loans at the youth wing constituency offices which include;
Individual Start-Up Loan
Also known as the Vuka Start-Up loan, this loan facility targets the youths who wish to start any commercial enterprise.
However, this type of loan is only granted to youths who have an alternative job that has verifiable income.
To qualify for the individual start-up loan, you must have a viable business plan outlining the manner in which you will use the funds.
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The funds can be used to purchase income-generating assets or used as working capital to start a business.
This loan is given to youths with an agribusiness proposal to help them actualize it. If you wish to build a greenhouse, fishpond or have any agribusiness idea, the youth fund Agribizz loan is what you should apply for.
Sometimes as a young person, getting access to financing can be a daunting experience. Some young people get LPOs to deliver goods and services but fail to fulfill them.
As the name suggests, this youth fund loan is granted to youths to promote their creative or performing arts which generate income.
This type of fund can be applied by individuals, partners, registered groups or companies owned and ran by young people.
If you have an expansion project or would like to expand your business to increase its capacity as a youth, you can apply for the expansion youth fund loan.
This type of loan is issued to youths who have formed a registered group. The loan should be used to start a business or expand an already existent joint venture.
It is important to have a shared or common goal while applying for this loan to ensure the success of the venture.
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Youth Fund Loan Requirements
People who have tried to apply for the youth fund loans can tell you that it is not the easiest loan to get if you do not have some of the crucial requirement.
Before you make any application, make sure you have prepared all the following documents.
These documents should be presented at the youth’s office at the constituency level during application of the youth fund loans.
- Business or group registration certificate
- A group membership list accompanied by photocopies of all members ID cards
- Minutes from group meetings authorizing loan borrowing
How to apply for Youth Fund Loan
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Youth Fund loans are granted at the constituency level making it an accessible initiative especially for young people living in marginalized areas. Below are steps on how to apply and get youth fund
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- Visit your respective constituency or sub-county youth office
- You will be given an application form for the funds
- Attach all the requirements mentioned above depending on the type of loan you are applying for ie. Individual or group loan
- Return the application form to the loans officer at the same office after filling it appropriately
- Wait for the response from the loans officer
- If your loan is approved, the loans officer will guide you on the necessary steps that should be taken
- The officer will provide training vetting and guidance on how the loan should be repaid
- Upon getting the loan, it is important to ensure that it is used for the intended purpose.
We can fault some officials for being corrupt and frustrating the process of empowering youths. However, there are places where the funds have been used to do great things by supporting youth projects.
Youth fund loans together with Uwezo fund is an ambitious flagship which will help youths to be job creators and not job seekers.
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To qualify for the youth fund loans, you must be a Kenyan above the age of 18 and not above the age of 35 years.
Also, to access the funds without much hassle, you must be in a Chama or a registered youth group.
That is how you apply for the youth fund loans guy. Easy as pie but it can mean all the difference in the world if you used the loan to grow yourself.
Get out of your comfort zone and go be a job creator!