An assessment of the process of accessing youth enterprise development fund on youth employment: the case of Laikipia East Constituency in Kenya
Kirera, Fredrick K
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This was a study on assessment of the youth enterprise development fund: the case of Laikipia East constituency in Kenya. Unemployment of youth is one of the most daunting economic challenges facing Kenya. The unemployed population in Kenya make-up 92% of which 61% is the youth. In order to address this problem of unemployment the Kenyan government started a youth enterprise development fund in 2006. Despite the creation of the fund, youth are yet found idle in villages and local markets hence the need for the study. The study looks at poverty, unemployment, entrepreneurship, micro finance and micro credit globally, regionally, Kenya and narrows down to Laikipia East Constituency specifically Central Division. The study had the following objectives: - To determine whether generation of business idea has a relationship with youth employment, to establish whether the process of vetting loan application had a relationship with youth employment, to establish whether the training programs to empower beneficiary groups had a relationship with youth employment and to determine whether the process of monitoring of beneficiary groups had a relationship with youth employment. Descriptive research design was used. The target population was the fifteen youth groups in central division that have benefited from the youth fund. Out of this five groups were studies forming a sample size of 40 respondents Closed and open ended questionnaires were used for data collection. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used in data analysis. Generation of the business idea was members' own initiative though there was no relationship between generation of business idea and youth employment. There was a rigorous vetting process. Such a stringent exercise could discourage some groups from accessing the fund and these could reduce employment opportunities that might arise from such business activities. Training was not adequate enough as far as management of their business and projects was concerned. As such, for these projects to do well in Laikipia, group members need to be well informed in terms of skills and management. Majority claimed that they were visited more than four times. Such visits are necessary for monitoring and evaluation. In conclusion, access and well utilization of the youth enterprise fund has the potentiality of transforming the economy of a crippling nation through employment creation. As such, every effort should be made to boost their utilization and growth. The government should come up with training centers for training managerial and technical courses for the small enterprises entrepreneurs. Equally, there should be business information centers. More research is required to assess the economic competitiveness of outputs from the youth enterprises funded by the youth fund.