The Kenya Commercial Bank Group (KCB) Foundation and Toyota Kenya have signed a partnership agreement that will enable Kenyan youths from the Foundation’s 2jiajiri program to get automotive skills from training and apprenticeship opportunities with the motor vehicle dealer.
Established in 2007, the KCB Foundation implements the Group’s corporate social investment programs focusing on enterprise development, education, environment, health and humanitarian aid.
Its transformative skills development and wealth creation program 2jiajiri is geared towards developing young entrepreneurs by helping the youth materialize their micro-entrepreneurship projects within the informal sector to ease the country’s unemployment crisis.
The KCB Foundation-Toyota Kenya partnership aims to encourage young people acquire automotive skills that will enable them become employable.
“At KCB Group, we firmly believe that the provision of technical and business skills training, mentorship and internship opportunities as well as affordable asset and capital financing for the youth will translate into the creation of additional jobs every year,” KCB Group CEO & MD Joshua Oigara said.
Beneficiaries who opt to set up their own mechanical firms and meet the set criteria will be considered for certification as Toyota Kenya Limited Appointed Service Centre (TKASC) and receive funding from KCB.
Jane Mwangi, KCB Foundation Executive Director added, “In Kenya, it is small and medium size businesses that hold the key to wealth creation; if they are able to grow into large-scale, innovative and formal businesses.”
According to the 2015 Kenya Economic Survey, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute 98 percent of businesses in Kenya; contribute 30 percent of jobs and 3 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The partnership will see young entrepreneurs within the agricultural sector benefit from specialized training under Toyota Kenya Foundation’s Agri-preneurship training program provided by the Toyota Kenya Academy.
Toyota Kenya Foundation Chairman, Amb. Dennis Awori said the partnership would provide the necessary skills and finance.
“Access to finance is an enabler for any business; however we also need to look into the operational end of business. It’s not just about the money available but also the quality of human resource available. If we do not invest in skills development, then businesses are bound to fail,” Awori noted.
Awori said there will always be demand for agricultural produce and what is required is an investment in the development of the agricultural value chain.
Kenya’s agriculture sector contributes about 26 percent of the country’s GDP and employs about 75 percent of the population, the 2015 Economic Review of Agriculture Report found.
The government and large private sector players were also urged to invest heavily in the informal sector to enable it evolve into a viable source of employment for Kenyan youth.
The partnership agreement with Toyota is part of the KCB Foundation’s initiatives to secure internship opportunities for its 1200 beneficiaries who recently graduated from the program.
In early 2016, the Foundation signed similar partnerships with Naivas, Amadiva Beauty and Tuskys to offer training opportunities for its 2jiajiri graduates.
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