E4impact

From the blog

Kathleen Lihanda: supporting young entrepreneurs in Kenya

Kathleen Lihanda is an entrepreneur from Kenya, Founder & CEO of My Career Identity LTD, an enterprise that helps young people to make informed career decisions and, as result, guides them towards successful careers. She has attended the 4th edition of the E4Impact MBA at Tangaza University College in Nairobi.

Through her business, our MBA Champion has supported over 3000 youth access crucial advice in career development so far, especially through her innovative app known as “My Internship Finder” which helps Youth access internships.

In order to give support to young entrepreneurs to start, grow and sustain their businesses, My Career Identity has recently launched the Youth in Business (YIB) initiative, which will enable the new generation of entrepreneurs to create jobs, build communities and transform lives.

“This newly launched program targets young people with a viable business idea but without access to supportive structures they need to set up and run businesses.” Kathleen has explained “More specifically, in the year 2020 – 2021, Youth In Business envisions to support 200 youth led social enterprises to access support that will encourage them to move beyond the start-up phase. Through this, we would like to ensure sustainable inclusive growth among youth led enterprises in our societies.”

But let’s find out more about this initiative.

“We have supported over 3000 youth access crucial advice in career development so far.”

1.Where did the idea for Youth in Business come from?

With the premise that young people are critical to future economic development, My Career Identity has been helping young people in career development since 2014. However, with over 66 million young people currently unemployed across the world, this potential is still not being realised.

Based on this realization My Career Identity decided to go beyond and ensure that youth between ages 18 – 35 access crucial support in helping them create employment opportunities not only for themselves but also to other fellow youth citizens.

2.How will your initiative address the youth employment crisis?

Addressing the youth employment crisis is imperative, not only for the well-being of young people, but also to ensure sustainable inclusive growth within societies. Empowering young people to succeed in running their own businesses is part of the solution. Young entrepreneurs create new jobs and shape local economies. Young people equipped with entrepreneurship skills are better able to navigate the challenges of today’s rapidly changing job market.

3.What does Youth In Business offer to young entrepreneurs?

Youth in Business works with young social entrepreneurs in order to help them access the technical support they need to thrive. Whether they have an idea to start a business or want to scale their impact in the society, YIB is a great platform to receive social entrepreneurship training that leads to greater social impact.

Hence, we offer training, mentorship and coaching, networking forums, access to markets and finance, together with other business development support from specific training to basic assistance.

4.These are very interesting services. Can you better explain how you will provide them to entrepreneurs?

Our commitment to mentoring and coaching sees young entrepreneurs paired with an experienced volunteer business mentor and coach to guide them through the challenging early stages of establishing a business.

Also, YIB members benefit from an array of services that include networking opportunities, which can lead to meeting impact investors and potential business partners.

Furthermore, any business that has proved to be scalable in the Youth in Business program will be supported to access markets and financing. New strategies are used to create opportunities for sustained growth for youth businesses and YIB Social Impact Investors provide the young entrepreneurs with an interest-free fund to cover the expenses of starting or growing their business.

5.Any future goals?

Well, by end of 2021 we envision to have supported 200 social enterprises run by youth aged 18-35 years. It’s a kind of dream and we will work hard to fulfil it!

 

Learn more on My Career Identity

mycareeridentity.com

Facebook page: @MyCareerIdentity



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