SME award to mentor youth entrepreneurs

Tuesday March 19 2019

Waithaka Gatumia, Ronald Osumba

From left: Centonomy CEO Waithaka Gatumia, Youth Fund chairperson Ronald Osumba, 254 Youth Entrepreneurship Awards founder and CEO Loise Muiruri and Women in Business Kenya chair Mary Muthoni during a media briefing at the Pride Inn Westlands in Nairobi on March 19, 2019. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA 

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A youth award and mentorship programme has been launched targeting to foster the growth of start-ups and link them up with successful entrepreneurs.

The initiative dubbed 254 Youth Entrepreneurship Awards & Mentorship Programme aims to boost small and medium enterprises by drawing on the knowledge, skills and inspiration of established entrepreneurs for advice as well as the establishment of investor and business networks.

Loise Muiruri, founder of the initiative, called on successful SMEs as well as corporate leaders to mentor the youths on business growth, governance and management.

“We are targeting businesses that have been in operation for three years but lack a mechanism to scale for lack of expertise and funds. This is the group of traders is set to create the next home-grown corporations but require the right mentorship and networks to grow,” she said.

Nation Media Group is among the sponsors of the programme.

During the launch, Youth Enterprise Development Fund chairman Ronnie Osumba said youth-led enterprises in the construction sector were in a pole position to win contracts in the soon-to-be-launched affordable housing project that aims to build 500,000 units. “It is up to our young entrepreneurs in this space to form strong partnerships that will help them deliver on such contracts,” he said.