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KIKWETU HUBS: A Community Space Providing Social Entrepreneurship Research Training, Volunteership, Start-up Finance and Incubation Support

Create employment through social entrepreneurship and enhance employability skills in youth

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Our idea is to train youth in social entrepreneurship while using new approaches to problem solving such as design thinking, link them with volunteering opportunities, create an enabling environment for networking with industry players, encourage start up ideas and obtain financial funding.

Our idea solves the problem of youth unemployment as well as lack of employability skills found among new graduates by employers.

At Kikwetu Hub, youth will be placed in cohorts in accordance to their areas of passion, encouraged to join various membership and volunteering platforms and thus will be motivated to excel and mentor their peers. Upon completion of training, youth will gain on the job experience from volunteering as well as much needed soft skills essential in today’s job market.

In May this year, NurSYPK Kenya formed a partnership with Omprakash, https://www.omprakash.org, a web platform that connects organizations with volunteers. It gives donations to organizations, grants to volunteers and provides opportunities to raise project funds through crowd sourcing. Through this platform, volunteers will be encouraged to apply for various volunteering positions at https://www.omprakash.org/global/nsyo-kenya/apply as they continue with their social impact training.

Youth will also be encouraged to come up with viable income generating ideas that may be funded through grants, equity earnings, micro-finance loans or link up with impact investors.

WHO BENEFITS?

The beneficiaries are out of school youth, graduates seeking to enter the job market and youth in school and tertiary institutions.

Through Kikwetu Hub, the youth will benefit by learning and developing new skills through the social impact they engage in; they will be proactive change makers and will learn to give to the less fortunate in the society thus will develop servant leadership skills which include excellence and integrity.

Out of school youth get a chance for self employment .

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU

Nurture Smart Youth Program Kenya (NurSYP Kenya) is a non-profit organization whose aim is to empower and nurture the youth attain social-economic self sustainability. We have previously trained youth in Nairobi County but plan to scale our impact deeper and spread out to other counties in Kenya.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

  • Kenya

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BECAUSE OF BENEFICIARY FEEDBACK?

Our idea has changed for the better after beneficiary feedback. Responses from 40 plus youths revealed that over 90% of youth supported the idea but stressed the need for it to be well implemented for impact. Emphasis from other conversations on the element of our idea disclosed the need to have an all inclusive community working towards the same course and that the idea should not be left for the youth to implement alone.

We therefore sense the need to include the communities and families in which the youth live in to provide support to them either through financial assistance, psychosocial support in the form of encouragement or by purchase and use of products and services from innovative ideas that the youth come up with.

We also see the need to have youth join Kikwetu Hub with an affordable membership and training fee to facilitate running of the program. While training, the youth will be encouraged to come up with viable ideas while in their cohorts and pitch them for start up support. Link up with various employment opportunities as volunteers or employees will be done and a fee collected from either party.

HOW IS YOUR IDEA UNIQUE?

Our idea is unique as it equips, empowers and nurtures the youth to learn and acquire social entrepreneurship and employability skills and provides continuous mentorship to the youth until they are confident to stand on their own. We will also add value to youth internally through soft skills acquisition they obtain and externally through hands on job experience they get while volunteering.

One unique advantage we have in implementing this idea is the fact that we are using design thinking tools in the early stages of its formation thus designing with the recipient in mind. This ensures success of the program as future challenges are identified and nabbed on time while initial involvement of youth enhances sustainability of the program because they embrace and own it.

Our training programs will be offered at affordable rates compared to our comrades thus cater for the masses at the bottom of the pyramid.

Another advantage is that youth will be encouraged to come up with viable income generating ideas which will result in a variety of social enterprises emerging from different sectors of the economy, these being; Agricultural, ICT, Designer Industry, Renewable Energy.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HAS NOT BEEN SOLVED?

Although there are many programs countrywide tackling this problem, a lot more needs to be done. A report from the National Police of Kenya shows that crime rate increased by 4% in 2015 when compared to 2014.
According to a World Bank report, the working age population in Kenya rose to 56% in 2014 from 47% in 1990. Unfortunately, the jobs creation rate is not fast enough hence the need to increase job creation in the informal sector.
A study done in 2002 by APHRC revealed that unemployment is among the reasons that drive youth into alcohol and drug abuse, trying to escape the reality of hardships.

The above scenarios are clear indicators that the problem is far from being solved

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS IDEA?

Would young people be self motivated to participate in our program and remain committed to it? What kind of awareness materials/ media would be most effective in ensuring this happens?

What kind of training would adequately cover the knowledge and skill needs of young people and make them better social entrepreneurs/ employees?

How efficient and effective is the support to enable start ups establish strong social enterprises? How replicable is it for set up for rural women?

Is our mentor benefit package motivating enough to potential mentors? Is it beneficial?

How can we conduct effective Job placement of our trained youth?

IS THIS IDEA NEW FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION?

The idea is new but related to what we have been doing and aspiring to achieve in the long term.

While the previous programs primarily involved us going to speak to our beneficiaries, this one involves both; them coming to our premises and receiving the training and then utilizing what they have learnt to go out and mentor others or start their own ventures.

It differs from the previous one in that it forms deeper bonds with the beneficiaries and it has an aspect of creating value for the youth communities in whom it aims to serve.

In addition, Kikwetu Hub provides an opportunity for NurSYP Kenya to become self sustainable in that youth volunteers can be engaged in research, data collection activities and content creation which may be made available to interested parties at a fee. The fee will be used to facilitate other research work. Clients requiring research work or content done for them may engage volunteer youth who will deliver professional work satisfactory to clients’ requirements.

We will partner with government agencies, their representatives, donors and the private sector to ensure success of the program.

WHO WILL IMPLEMENT THIS IDEA?

This idea will be implemented by Nurture Smart Youth Program Kenya (NurSYP Kenya) as an organization in collaboration with a team of volunteers led by Deborah Nyambu. This team comprises of full time and part time volunteers among them Dr. Barnard Aseto, Dorothy Mbungu, Fladwell Rawinja, Alice Kimani, Donald Mwaluma, Audrey Saru, J Mutuku and Stella Kachumbo.

NurSYP Kenya will provide the infrastructure to operate in and the team will devote their time and energy to make the idea a succes

Social entrepreneurship is a fairly new name especially in East Africa although it is a concept that has existed time in memorial in form of cooperative or fair trade movement. Running a social enterprise has its challenges the main one being sustainability.  It also requires a change of mindset from ‘big break’ mentality to one of patience and endurance.

In Kenya, a small percentage of youth believes in it but tend to put more emphasis on the business aspect of it.  In the more developed world, social entrepreneurship is being used to create innovative scalable solutions that have ripple effects trickling down to emerging markets.

In their book on Social Entrepreneurship, Huybrechts and Nicholls state that Mair and Marti (2004:3) define social entrepreneurship as “a process consisting of the innovative use and combination of resources to explore and exploit opportunities that aims at catalyzing social change by catering to basic human needs in a sustainable manner”

In other words, social entrepreneurship is a technique used to solve societal problems while at the same time creating income.  The emphasis here, though, is to have more social impact being realized than the revenue generated.

SHARE ONE SENTENCE ABOUT THE IMPACT YOU WOULD LIKE THIS PROJECT TO HAVE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, AND ONE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER TO GET THERE.

To have a community of 50 economically empowered youth who positively change their society through vibrant social enterprises.

How do we ensure sustainability of our social enterprises?

MY ORGANIZATION'S OPERATING BUDGET FOR 2015 WAS:

  • Under $100,000

MY INTENDED BENEFICIARIES ARE:

  • Within 50 km of where our team does most of its work

HOW LONG HAVE YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES BEEN WORKING ON THIS PILOT PROJECT TOGETHER?

  • Between 6 months and a year

WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING AMPLIFY'S PORTFOLIO OF INNOVATORS?

We are interested in joining because of the potential we see in using Human Centered Design principles in solving problems especially for our country. This concept could revolutionize youth engagement and economic empowerment policies in Kenya.
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Team (5)

Elly's profile
Elly Mulah

Role added on team:

"Hey, like your idea so much, maybe we can work as a team?"

Deborah's profile
Ahmed's profile
Ahmed

Role added on team:

"Hi, you have a really great idea there, Ahmed...maybe we can team up?"

Kevin's profile
Kevin Mureithi

Role added on team:

"Hi your idea is very good, maybe we can team up?"

Ongoza's profile
Ongoza

Role added on team:

"Hey, I like your idea...maybe we can collaborate?"

67 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Deborah Nyambu and Empower Youth,
Do you think grain moisture testing to stop Postharvest loss like aflatoxin would be a skill empowering youth to meet employers and learn the
Agricultural market place?
See <https://challenges.openideo.com/goto/challenge/youth-empowerment-challenge/jobs-for-youth-to-reverse-cereal-grain-postharvest-loss>

William

Jobs for Youth to Reverse Postharvest loss

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
Team

Hello William, yes, I believe grain moisture testing to stop postharvest loss could be a skill empowering youth meet and learn a lot in the agricultural market place.

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello  Deborah Nyambu,
Thank you for the reply. Should we exchange email and then user experience maps and
form a team to collaborate so the experts can see how our innovative team would help youth implement, learn and established business that reverse Postharvest loss like aflatoxin?

The moisture testing project believes aflatoxin indicates a very weak link in the East African grain value chain. 

William

Jobs for Youth to Reverse Postharvest loss

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
Team

Hello William, thank you for reaching out on working as a team, but time is far gone.  I have a small team of young people am working with and we are using design thinking tools to obtain feedback from youth.  We interview one group tomorrow and another the following day, iterate then submit.

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Deborah,
We are interested to read the height of the rural girls entering your program. And hope youth provided feedback about stunting caused by aflatoxin so the net benefit of other interventions to have meaning.
Cardwell says it best in “Aflatoxin Identifying the Way Forward” Retrieved:
<http://www.fsnnetwork.org/sites/default/files/Kitty%20Cardwell%20Presentation.pdf>.

Regards,
William

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
Team

Hello William, thanks for the reminder on rural girls entering our program.  Now about feedback on aflatoxin....guess thats for another day:-)

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
Team

Hello William,
I am interested to know how we would go about creating awareness of stunting caused by aflatoxin among rural women in our project.  If we were to partner with you, where would we start?

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Deborah,
Thank you for the chance to discuss.

"Jobs for Youth to Reverse PHL" (NeverIdlle)  is eager to partner as Nurture Smart Youth Program has experience and are using design thinking tools to identify and curb challenges that would have emerged later and in the long run adding value to the inward and outward person is an advantage over other similar initiatives.

Together NeverIdle and Nurture Smart can answer the UNANSWERED QUESTIONS. NeverIdle believes that preventing grain has very high value (quantitative and qualitative) and thus motivational to youth and communities looking for serious social enterprises.

There is a substantial and significant body of work regarding aflatoxin that is being ignored (Cardwell, PAEPARD and Lindahl). This body of knowledge strongly suggests grain aflatoxin is stunting, mentally and physically rural communities.

High calorie grains power most of the human labor and animal power needed to grow densely nutritious vegetables, fruits and meat. if aflatoxin is in the food supply other interventions lack meaning... there are no healthy outcomes to education etc if young years mean eating grains that contain aflatoxin.

The first and cost-effective step to preventing aflatoxin is to monitor moisture content of grain and then. once the grain is dry store it well.

Moisture meter resemble mobile phones. Youth who operate phones and apps can learn moisture meters, the grain drying processes in their communities and enhance grower knowledge with accurate sampling and testing and record keeping.
Simply growers with accurate moisture measurements can be more effective at harvesting, drying, Commercial growers know this and are likely to hire staff who have first hand experience providing services to growers, testing, monitoring, aggregating, storing for a sell date, pest management and marketing. for increased net benefits.
Not to mention the exponential benefits of nutritional, decoupling price from healthy choices, and producing surplus to reduce imports and increase exports.

Our partner ship would require funding and so I would approach Key ICRISAT and Esoko stakeholders and anyone listed at my LinkedIn. Our partnership would be a means for ICRISAT and Esoko to address their inadequate PHL interventions that impact the net benefit of improved cereals and sms information. NeverIdle moisture testing has been to UNEP Nairobi for EBAFOSA, Esoko, African Regional Standards Organization, and Madame Anna Onyango at Ministry of Environment and others.

I hope the above brief helps. Please accept LinkedIn invitation for additional context and send an email to <NeverIdleFarms(at)gmail.com> so I can provide supporting reference material and the full "Jobs for Youth'..." and "Storage to Reverse..." articles and answer any questions to continue our discussion.

William
23324768850three

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
Team

Thank you William,
Thats a handfull of info...lemme digest it will get back to you...

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Deborah,
I am surprised aflatoxin in Kenya is new, so glad you have a heads up.
For pictures, user experience and more explanation see both "Jobs for Youth to Reserve PHL" at
<https://challenges.openideo.com/goto/challenge/youth-empowerment-challenge/jobs-for-youth-to-reverse-cereal-grain-postharvest-loss> and
<https://challenges.openideo.com/goto/challenge/agricultural-innovation/jobs-for-youth-to-reverse-cereal-grain-postharvest-loss> and
"Storage Rights to Reverse PHL" at
<https://challenges.openideo.com/goto/challenge/agricultural-innovation/storage-to-reverse-grain-postharvest-loss>
Thank you for feedback,
William

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
Team

Hello William,
Its not new as such, your technique is what is unique...

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Deborah,
Thank you for the insight. However, metal grain storage has been around for +100 years. See The Great Grain Bin Adventure" by Butler <http://butlermfg.com/en/about_us>. Hopper bottoms have been raised utility for 50 years and they have been mobile for +25. Just ask any Australian grain farmer.
What is unique is the SSA corruption that prevents for example, storage and hand soap from stopping aflatoxin and ebola respectively. Ruxin (2014), advises “Step One to Fighting Ebola - Start with Corruption”.
Moisture meters initiate the fight against SSA corruption and aflatoxin by giving growers scientific testing that is hard for corruption to control. Then storing dry and clean grain in mobile utility reduces drudgery, decouples nutrition from price and awards disadvantaged access to markets. The resulting grain surplus reduces imports, increases exports to fill foreign exchange reserves.
Simply, moisture testing is the beginning of farming's triple-bottom-line for growers.

Regards,
Willliam

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
Team

Hello William,
Thanks for the info. I am truly enlightened now…we learn new things everyday! Talk to you later.
Best regards.

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Deborah,
Thank you for LinkingIn. But "Talking... Later" is why aflatoxin (and other PHL) causes Africans to enjoy imported flour and rice more than their own.
What can we do now?
William

Photo of Deborah Nyambu
Team

Hello William,
Patience pays,we will get there...Rome was not built in a day...

Best regards,
Deborah

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Debirah,
Have you been to Rome? Reference to Rome is irrelevant as proud African cultures have been around far far longer.
Maybe we should approach PHL this way "What imported brands of flour and rice do you and your family enjoy?" As in [disadvantaged] food-scarce conditions, is bad food still better than no food at all? FoodAfrica ILRI researcher J. Lindahl (2016) says that it might be true, although with PHL like aflatoxin-contaminated food the judgement could be difficult.”
 
"Tackling [grain] post-harvest loss is not rocket science. It does not require technological breakthroughs or years of high level scientific research as do some of the other challenges we face" (Etharen Cousins, Executive Director UN WFP). This substantial body of knowledge about aflatoxin (and solutions to PHL) has existed for many years, yet the advantaged in Africa ignore it.

Trivializing PHL like aflatoxin is inappropriate.
 
Thank you for the chance to continue and reference this discussion so others are enlightened.
Highest Regards,
William

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