Young People as Drivers of Social Change in Kenya

Young People as Drivers of Social Change in Kenya

When it comes to engaging the youth, there is need to provide opportunities for them to dream and to be initiators and shapers of their future both inside and outside their school environments. Providing entrepreneurship opportunities through social innovation is a great way to actively deploy their intellectual capabilities and creativity, in developing ventures that not only benefit them but also their communities at large long after they leave school. Universities in Kenya are investing in Incubation Centres, which are facilities located within the universities, that foster entrepreneurial training to students and spark entrepreneurial culture within the student community encouraging them to be more proactive in creating opportunities for themselves and their societies while solving critical social, economic and environmental challenges.

In the previous article on “Kenya: The Youth and Social Entrepreneurship, we explored how Kenya is bustling with social entrepreneurship ventures, spaces, incubation centres for innovation and touched a little bit on the kind of activities we have planned for 2019 in Kenya. This article expounds on the previous article with a deeper look at how the youth in Kenya can positively engage in social entrepreneurship with a key focus on how they can sustainably tackle pressing global challenges. 

With our Venture4Change program in Kenya, we are working with two universities, combining various tools and resources to develop a holistic learning framework for the students who participate in the program. We see universities or institutions of higher learning as the “petri dish” for developing social entrepreneurial ventures because these institutions bring together young, intelligent and inquisitive people combining multiple disciplines thus creating a multidisciplinary environment that is the “cooking pot” for new ideas that are ultimately transformed from being just being ‘dreams’ into reality.

In our MMH Venture4Change programme, we have developed a curriculum that will be administered over a series of workshops exploring the concepts of how to identify a viable business idea and the resources needed to kick start, developing a business case, applying the concept of co-creation and how to turn an idea into a product. Topics of prototyping, customer engagement and marketing compounded with how design thinking is critical in developing a viable business idea will also be investigated.

We aim to ultimately create a platform where participating university students develop their ideas and later, provide them with the chance to test their ideas on the ground. To create a win-win situation, we intend to link them up with top business incubators and support systems in Kenya including: Nailab, iHub, Afrilab, Biz Africa, M-lab, EldoHub, SwahiliBox and Seven Sea Technology Innovation Hubs among others to enable them to continue working on their ideas, refining them and successfully launching them into the market. In the incubation centres, our student innovators will be provided with the much-needed technical assistance to expand their ventures and develop business plans on how to run these enterprises. MMH will also provide human, technical and financial assistance to support these ventures.

Follow us in the coming weeks and months in this journey of developing social change makers in Kenya.