Influence of Youth Enterprise Development fund on youth empowerment in Kieni East district, Nyeri County, Kenya
Wanyoko, Priscila M
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Empowerment of youth is a very important issue in developing countries. In Kenya young people aged 15 to 34 year olds total 13.66 million, approximately 35.39% of the population (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics [KNBS], 2009).Though the youth are integral part of society, they lack skills to manage enterprises successfully and young people who choose to go into self employment have to face the problem of access to capital. The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) on youth empowerment in Kieni East District, Nyeri County, Kenya. The study looks closely at YEDF, which is one of the government's initiative that targets at improving the livelihoods of the youth with a vision of 'A sustainable and growing fund, economically empowering Kenyan youth' . The study reviewed literature by vanous researchers and institutions on youth empowerment, training, capital, networking and self-awareness. The theoretical framework was based on Abraham Maslow's Basic Needs Theory. The study adopted a descriptive survey design and the study data was collected by use of questionnaires. A sample of 20% (twenty percent) of the 520 beneficiaries of the YEDF was randomly selected using a stratified random sampling design to get a sample size of 104 individuals. The data collected during the study were analyzed and the findings presented descriptively with supporting statistical techniques which were frequency distribution tables and bar graphs. The fmdings reveal that the youth had attended various trainings courses especially in book keeping and savings offered by YEDF and also training on individual values offered by other organizations. Sixty three percent (63%) of the youth were able to repay the YEDF loan as required and on time. However, 90% felt that the KshSO,OOO loan currently given was not enough and that their business would be better with a higher loan amount. The YEDF, together with other NGOs involved in youth development, has also opened networking avenues through which the youth come together to share ideas and hold joint events. Through all these activities and contacts the youth now feels better placed to serve society and to also be role models to other youth.