Educate youths on Fund to boost loans uptake
Latest figures from the National Youth Fund show young people in Nairobi are either reluctant to borrow to start businesses or are unaware that they could take out a loan in the first place.
The figures show youths from Dagoretti North and South have taken the lowest amount with the 79 registered youth groups borrowing a modest Sh3.4 million between them.
Compare this to the former Embakasi constituency which has since been split into five constituencies. There, 250 youth groups borrowed a total of Sh10.7 million.
The 199 youth groups in what used to be Kasarani constituency but has since been split into three constituencies have borrowed Sh8.6 million so far.
You could argue the only reason youth groups in Embakasi have borrowed more than twice the amount of their counterparts is the fact that the former have many more youth groups due to the vastness of the area.
But this might not necessarily be true.
According to the Youth Fund, there is a general fear of not only taking loans among the youth but also of venturing into private businesses.
Studies undertaken by the Fund show a majority of young people only venture into business after failing to secure white collar jobs.
Perhaps one area the Fund might have to look into to encourage young people to take out loans is the issue of collateral.
It is understandable that youth groups applying for loans for start-up businesses will be unable to raise the required collateral hence the need for the Fund to review this aspect.
Then there is the issue of lack of awareness of the Fund’s existence among some youth groups, especially those in the slums.
Where the groups may be aware of the Fund’s existence, they may not be aware of the requirements to secure a loan. It might help if the Fund conducted an awareness campaign about its mandate and the requirements to be given a loan.
These awareness campaigns will also go a long way towards disabusing young men and women of the fear of venturing into private business and rid them of their obsession with white collar jobs.
With the scarcity of jobs in the market, the way to go is self employment and private business.