Stakeholder Workshop on Economic Inclusion of Youth and Women through Inclusive Entrepreneurship
KIPPRA held a stakeholder workshop on economic inclusion of youth and women through inclusive entrepreneurship in Kenya on April 10, 2018. The workshop was part of a research project KIPPRA is undertaking in collaboration with the Economic Policy Analysis Unit of CIRES (CAPEC) in Cote D’ivoire and Laboratory of Quantitative Analysis Applies to Development – SAHEL (LAQAD-S) in Burkina Faso. The project, which is supported by International Development Research Centre (IDRC), investigates the impact of inclusive business on job creation, income growth and the well-being, particularly for youth and women in Kenya, as well as the determining factors.
The project further seeks to understand how and where inclusive business approaches are adopted in Kenya; the internal and external choice factors; the beneficiaries; the effects of inclusive entrepreneurship on the enterprise, the employees and the economy; and the current and proposed policy interventions. The research project is expected to come up with recommendations for economic policies and actions for promoting inclusive business with emphases on; business environment and specific legal reforms, accreditation systems, the type of public-private dialogue, the legislation enabling inclusive business to access new financing forms or as financing mechanisms for the poor, as well as the procurement contracts or procurement procedures for inclusive entrepreneurship.
This research project is designed to be undertaken in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, all of who play a critical role in various sectors including the government, micro and small enterprises, agricultural organization and the civil society. This is because stakeholders provide critical input on current inclusive policies and initiatives. The workshop, therefore, provided an opportunity for KIPPRA to gather information from relevant stakeholders practicing inclusive business in various sectors in the economy.
Among those who shared their experiences included Caroline Wanjiku from Daproim Africa, which focusses on youth training and empowerment. The organization has a programme called Digital Campus Connect that empowers youth through training, mentoring and employment. The social entrepreneurship company focuses on the Base of the Pyramid employees.
Another speaker was Francesca Munyi from Kenya Organic Finest Aromas Ltd (KOFAR-Kenya), a social enterprise company that repairs soils through the use of organic and natural farm inputs. This ensures that farmers produce quality products that attract great prices in the market and are also good for the family consumption. KOFAR works with farmers who are mostly women and youth. Some products they come up with include: K-Tiba conditioner, fortified compost, seed boost and organic folia.
Dr Monicah Waiganjo of Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KARLO) explained her organization’s role in developing knowledge and innovation to increase productivity among the youth. She highlighted some of the challenges hindering youth from participating in agribusiness. These include: Negative perception and attitude towards in agribusiness, limited access to land for agribusiness, limited agriculture innovations, research and technology development, adoption and utilization; limited value addition and domestic processing of agricultural products, weak farmer organization, inadequate policies to support youth in agri-preneurship, limited access to markets, and climate change and environmental management. Others include alcohol and drug abuse gender inequality and cultural barriers. According to Dr Waiganjo, the opportunities that promote youth participation in agribusiness include: ICT sector solutions, existence of strong research institutions in agriculture, youthful population.
Some of issues raised by the participants include lack of incubation in agriculture sector, absence of proper forecasting and mitigation of disasters, a concern that the merger of youth fund, women fund and bank was retrogressive, slow adoption of technology in the agriculture, poor funding for youth and women projects, need for support systems to promote growth of inclusive businesses, need for a graduation policy for Micro- Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), importance of protecting intellectual property rights, poor access of information among small entrepreneurs and the need to include the ‘boychild’ in entrepreneurship initiatives.