The Youth Banner (TYB) is a not-for-profit organization, established in May 2010 to implement innovative and impactful programmes that support the Youth to start and grow sustainable enterprises in Kenya.
Vision: ‘Developed and economically empowered youth’
Mission: ‘To create an enabling environment for youth to earn sustainable incomes’
Tagline: ‘Changing Livelihoods’
- Equip entrepreneurs with skills and tools to initiate own businesses
- Create jobs and boost existing ones
- Enhance youth leadership capabilities
- Empower youth as positive change agents
- Create entry points for youths to penetrate markets, finances and plough back to community.
For five years, TYB has partnered with youth to create income generating activities and develop sustainable Social enterprises through The Youth Banner Economic Empowerment Program (BEEP). This is through engagement with youth in entrepreneurship education and ICT training, leadership skills development, mentoring and linkages to markets and finance across Kenya. This has uplifted the lives of youth who would otherwise be unemployed or without sustainable sources of income.
Over the last 2years, TYB has reached 10,800 youth directly through Entrepreneurship trainings, business clinics, information meetings, mentorship and ICT training. Over 700 enterprises have been started and are growing and more than 2000 youth are either self- employed or employed by growing youth enterprises.
TYB has developed its Strategic Plan and identified the following four pillars for the next three years which are:
- Enhance entrepreneurship and Digital Literacy skills
- Increased access to financial services
- Information generation, dissemination, policy reform and advocacy
- The Youth Banner Sustainability
The Youth Banner Economic Empowerment Program (BEEP) is the flagship program at the Youth banner. It is a six-month handholding program where the youth & women (18-35yrs) in groups of 15-25 branded as “BEEP Clubs”(enterprise clubs) meet weekly and follow a seven component curriculum referred to as “The Youth Banner Experience”. The seven curriculum components are: i) peer to peer support ii) Business plan development iii) mentorship iv) coaching v) linkages to markets and finances vi) exposure to new networks and opportunities and vii) community service.
BEEP objectives include:
• Create entrepreneurial thinkers who also have the skills and tools to start their own businesses
• Create jobs and boost existing ones
• Enhance leadership capabilities of youth
• Empower youth to be positive forces of change in their communities
• Create a platform for youth – access markets and finances, share experiences and give back to the community
Amka Tujiinue Groups (income generating groups for young women entrepreneurs)
Guided by the poor representation of women in The Youth Banner enterprise clubs/BEEP Clubs, The Youth Banner introduced this initiative as part of the BEEP program. This is a women only program aimed at empowering young women between 16 and 30 years in entrepreneurship, and combines business and financial education with creation of access to markets and credit, as well as training participants in various life skills (Amka Tujiinue means “wake up and let’s develop ourselves”). It offers hands on lessons and insights for the empowerment of women. The program serves to increase capacity for young women by boosting their confidence to participate and make decisions on social, political and economic matter. It creates a mechanism for young women to access funding for enhancing their socio-economic condition through income generating activities.
The objectives of the Amka Tujiinue Groups (A.T.G.) are:
1. To increase capacity in young women by boosting their confidence to participate and make decisions on social, political and economic matters in their communities.
2. To create an enabling environment through the setup of simple mechanisms which allow young women to access funding.
3. To enhance the socio-economic condition of women through different income generating activities.
Activities involved in the A.T.G program include:
• Recruitment, Mobilization and Induction of ladies from urban informal settlements and rural Kenya. This is geared towards increasing awareness of the impact of entrepreneurship and value addition of the ATG program through planned information sessions.
• Capacity Building – The women entrepreneurs receive training on group formation and dynamics, communication skills, peer interaction and self –confidence aimed at building their capacity at individual and group level in order to become successful entrepreneurs.
• Entrepreneurship Training and Coaching – Entrepreneurs’ also go through entrepreneurship training and coaching on the essentials of running a successful business including the legal requirements.
• Mentorship – Women entrepreneurs receive guidance and practical feedback from The Youth Banner Mentors Network, a collection of professionals and successful business men and women with vast knowledge on entrepreneurship. This is aimed at ensuring the young entrepreneurs have quality information to build long-term enterprises.
Primrose Home Collection is an innovative social enterprise, an initiative of The Youth Banner, involved in working with women and youth handcrafters in the production marketing and sales of handicrafts resulting in improved livelihoods.
Primrose, whose vision is Money in the hands of youth and women, assists entrepreneurs in rural and urban informal settlements by bringing about social solutions that address access to market for their handicrafts. Such solutions include:
• Assist in coming up with creative ideas for the production of home-based, hand-made products
• Research and develop marketable concepts for handicrafts
• Source for buyers
• Negotiate with financiers and other partners
• Negotiate for bulk purchases
• Guarantee quality control and ensure certification by regulatory bodies.
Currently, The Youth Banner runs crochet clubs aimed at improving the crochet skills of young women and providing a platform for the young ladies to earn a living through production of crochet items, a skill that is facing a rising popularity in urban Kenya.
- Identify creative and marketable handcraft ideas
- Conduct skills training and product quality assurance
- Create an environment to enhance continued innovation and product creativity amongst the entrepreneurs
- Offer entrepreneurship training aimed at building and up-scaling profitable handicraft based enterprises.