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Dagoretti youths trail in uptake of business loans

Youths in Dagoretti Constituency have the least interest in government loans to grow their businesses.

Either they prefer to save money to set up businesses, fear loans or are not aware that they exist. Consequently, hunger for the loans is highest in the larger Embakasi area.

Youths there have little avenues to save money to start a business, and instead rely on small loans to make their dreams come true.

Uptake

A report by the Youth Enterprise Fund on the uptake of government loans in the county and exclusively seen by NairobiNews showed that the former Embakasi constituency which has since been split into five electoral zones, led with 250 beneficiaries while Dagoretti, now divided into South and North, had the least, at 79 groups.

Embakasi youths took up Sh10.7 million while those in Dagoretti took only Sh3.4 million.Kasarani with 199 groups, came second having benefitted from Sh8.6 million.

The constituency has since been divided into three — Kasarani, Roysambu and Ruaraka.  Starehe was third best in loans uptake. It took Sh7.3 million for its 171 groups followed by Kamukunji’s 166 groups which benefitted from Sh7.1 million.

Makadara constituency whose population largely works in Industrial Area but most have side jobs had 152 groups benefitting from Sh7.1 million.

Lang’ata youths took Sh5.9 million and were made of 137 groups while those in Westlands, 108 groups took Sh4.6 million.

The report showed that Sh54.3 million was shared among the city’s more than 1,200 youth groups since the Fund was established in 2007.

The groups comprised 20,121 members which were run by men while those run by women had 13,591 members.  “There are more young men seeking business opportunities in the city than women,” said Benson Muthendi, the Fund’s spokesman.

Countrywide, the report indicated that Sh1.1 billion went to businesses owned by young men while Sh621 million went to female-owned enterprises.

So far, the fund has disbursed Sh4.4 billion to more than 35, 591 businesses countrywide. The fund was started in 2007 as an avenue to boost businesses for youths aged 35 years and below.

According to Mr Muthendi, one of the challenges found among city youths is the obsession with employment as opposed to starting own businesses.

“In fact, most entrepreneurs came to business after failing to get jobs. The level of appreciation that own businesses can pay more is yet to be fully appreciated,”he said.