Lastly, we had uploaded a user experience map, which later evolved after we acquired feedback from our target beneficiaries, so as to ensure our idea address their needs, taking into consideration the business and social dynamics of slum communities, so as to device a project that will be executed effeciently and effectively. You can see the change from the initial user experience map we attached, compared to the recently updated one.
Q7. Have you explored relationships to link savings groups to partners? Have you considered potential financial service providers? Is there an actor outside of the Youth Development Fund network you have not considered?
Through one of our programs (MSEP-Mashinani Social Enterprise), we have an existing savings and loaning program, characterized by a low one off transaction fee, consisting of two hundred and fifty members. We would like to create our own fund, which we would like to maintain for sustainability purposes of the whole project. However, financial institutions and other partners will be sought in the long run at the scale up stages. We have not considered banking institutions due to the high interest rates levied on loans, and the demand for collateral, which has made loaning services out of reach for the youth from slum communities.
Q8. You have a great opportunity to leverage Ghetto FM for the benefit of youth skills and business development in your communities and beyond. It will be great to hear more about how this aspect of the work - which is your USP (unique selling proposition) - will happen!
Indeed Ghetto FM is our asset in developing youth skills to reach more youth in slums and beyond through our online streaming, local partner radio stations and our content production strategic development partner BBC Media Action.
Q4. Have you learned any insights or failures from other accelerators? Where have you sought inspiration to inform the evolution of your idea?
Kenya many accelerators concerned and committed to youth entrepreneurship providing business loans for youth with collateral to secure such loans mostly banks and Government/ institutional youth funds. However, youth from slum communities are often disenfranchised and often miss out from these opportunities due to lack of collateral and necessary skills to run business ventures. A notable failure was from the much anticipated National Youth service employment plan which engaged many youth in the slums until a corruption scandal stalled the process. Though the plan was highly rated, it only engaged youth in environmental cleanups, unclogging drains and construction of toilets which left no room for creativity and choice of business of interest to them. This inspired SIDAREC which works among the targeted youth now back to their idle state after the collapse of the Government program, to realize that sustainable youth economic interventions required access to relevant business information, skills development through training, tools and resources. It must have a bearing towards a practical human centric approach to determine individual skills, talents business acumen and interest. Thus a participatory business idea processing is key. It therefore dawned on us that we already have a radio station (Ghetto FM) popular with the youth in our target slum communities which avails an effective and efficient platform to generate and lead conversations that encourages youth to become entrepreneurs and managers. Through generation of our user experience map, we identified a clear outlay of our idea and an implementation plan became practical.
Q5. Who is the team producing the content for the curriculum? What depth of knowledge do they have that will support your users?
SIDAREC currently has an existing business training manual which was developed by our business training network consisting of six independent youth organizations, through a fund from Comic Relief and America Gives Back four years ago. SIDAREC was an active member of the network. It is still a valid training document still being used by our staff business trainers. We have however seen the need to have a current business training curriculum in line with the ever evolving business environment, relevant to youth and our YBOSS idea. Production of the content for the curriculum will be a concerted effort of Key influencers of youth e.g young established business owners, curriculum end users, SIDAREC staff business trainers and external consultants; these are individuals with advanced knowledge of dynamics existing in slum environments, youth interests, limitations and their existing potentials.
Q6. What challenges do you foresee regarding the sustainability of your idea and program? Do you have any preliminary hypotheses on how to approach these obstacles?
Our idea is based on a sustainable approach aimed at creating job-creators rather than seekers. However, even the most creative ideas experience unforeseeable challenges. For example, an externally developed training curriculum might not resonate with business training needs of youth in the slums. Hence the need to involve end users and persons well acquainted with business and social dynamics of the slums to eventually own the training manuals/curriculum content. Another challenge would be if Ghetto FM business content will be popular and exciting to youth some of who have apathy and at the verge of losing hope. To approach this obstacle, we shall infuse business messages as segments within existing popular radio programs. Secondly, business content will also be produced as edutainment to appeal to youth. Hypothetically, the whole project will be people centered where every beneficiary will be answerable to others in terms of driving a business idea through the incubation process to owning it as a business. Moreover, each member will guarantee each other in start-up loans to ensure none-defaulting and sustain the loaning cycles.