Young Women in Enterprise

Young Women in Enterprise (YWE) Program seeks to raise the level of entrepreneurial activity among Kenya’s young women–particularly the most disadvantaged, to catalyze the start up of employment-generating, women-owned small enterprises.YWE is designed to provide young women ages 15 to 22 years with support, skills, and experience needed to transform ideas into successful enterprises.

In 2006, TechnoServe ran a pilot program to train girls in entrepreneurship skills and lifeskills. There were 250 girls recruited from South B Fuata Nyayo Mukuru slums, Korogocho slums, Kangemi, Githurai and a rural club in Kangare (Thika). The girls were organised into Enterprise clubs based on whether they were in school, or had dropped out or finished high school.

The program provided training to the girls over a period of 6 months and the girls then wrote their business plans. There was a business plan competition and winners received prizes in early 2007 during an awards ceremony. Today, the alumni of this pilot program are in small businesses or joined college to improve their skills.

During this pilot program, a total of 10 YWE girls were trained in ICT by The African Centre for Women, Information and Communications Technology(ACWICT).Due to the success of the pilot program, the YWE Expanded program was started. The program as it is today began in May 2009, and will run in 3 cycles over the next 3 years. The current target is to get 3,000 girls taken through the program by 2011.

The program therefore sought partnership with ACWICT for provision of ICT training services to a select group of the YWE girls.