When Benard Kabuu a attended business training sponsored by Kenya Youth Employment and Skills Program (K-YES) early this year, he only expected to learn how to manage his business.
In June 2016, K-YES conducted a three-day training in Nairobi, equipping over 30 youth with skills for bookkeeping, savings, client relations, branding and marketing registering businesses as formal entities, and raising capital through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA).
Insights into how VSLA operated inspired him. Lack of access to financial capital had hindered his expansion plans. He had been aware that securing a bank loan was a possibility, but most banks’ requirements seemed unfriendly to many youth at start-up level.
He assembled like-minded youth in his area after the training and shared the idea of forming their own VSLA. “They were reluctant at first, but experiences from members from other VSLAs helped win their commitment,” said Kabuu.
He is currently the proud founder and team leader of a 17-member VSLA based in the outskirts of Nairobi and is determined to accumulate capital for their businesses. A loan from the group enabled him expand his business—in addition to his Coca Cola kiosk, he supplies water to a nearby garage and also has invested in raising chickens.
*This refers to the education levels in place in Kenya until early 2017
AUTHOR: Silvano Ateka, RTI