The Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) was established in year 2006 with the sole purpose of reducing unemployment among the youth who account for over 61% of the unemployed in the country. The target of the fund is young people within the age bracket of 18 to 35 years who number 13 million. The Fund was gazetted on 8th December 2006 and then transformed into a State Corporation on 11th May 2007.
The Fund’s strategic focus is on enterprise development as a key strategy that will increase economic opportunities for, and participation by Kenyan youth in nation building. The government has so far released Ks. 3.8 billion to the Fund. In 2008 the Fund developed a 3 year strategic plan to address varied needs and aspirations of the youth, and to address the challenges it has faced in the past. The Fund is currently working on a 5 year strategic plan in line with the Medium Term Plan (MTP) of the Vision 2030. It is the Fund’s intention to evolve and be able to meet the dynamic needs of the youth, who are its raison d’être. The fund is constantly reviewing its operational mechanisms from time to time in order to make it responsive to needs and expectations of the target clients.
Youth Enterprise Development Fund was established in December 2006 by the government as an initiative that is hoped to address the unemployment rate among the youth. The twin strategic pillars of this initiative are enterprise development and externally focused employment creation through Youth Employment Scheme Abroad (YESA).
To date the Fund has:
- Financed over 157,000 youth enterprises to the tune of KS. 5.9 billion. Many of the youth the Fund supported at inception are today big employers.
- Helped thousands of youth build their enterprises through market support and entrepreneurship training. The Fund has trained over 200,000 young entrepreneurs.
- Supported thousands of youth to take up jobs overseas through the Youth Employment Scheme Abroad (YESA) programme.
The Fund has helped create over 300,000 jobs in the five years.
The Fund has continued to diversify its product base by focusing on interventions that are more responsive to the needs of the youth and are geared towards addressing specific challenges facing young entrepreneurs.
The Fund has established a component that will enable it advance big loans directly to youth whose enterprises demonstrate capacity to create many jobs for young people.
The Fund intends to partner with business owners who would like to franchise their brands. This move affords the youth with business opportunities already tried and tested and known in the market. The Fund will finance interested franchisees to start and run such businesses with the technical support of the franchisor.
In order to enhance penetration of information at the grassroots, and to ensure that the Fund’s services remain relevant to our clients the fund has started a grassroots stakeholder programme known as Mashinani. In this programme youth, leaders and other stakeholders from a particular county are gathered together where they discuss their opportunities and challenges with the fund, and also give their recommendations on their unique needs.