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10.01.20

YBI extends its reach with three new members in Nairobi, Kenya

Youth Business International (YBI) is delighted to announce the expansion of our network in Kenya. Kenya, and Nairobi in particular, is home to a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem and has earned the nickname “Silicon Savannah” due to the widespread adoption of digital and evident entrepreneurial spirit.

Following a rigorous due diligence process, three new organisations were welcomed into the YBI network this month. These organisations join YBI’s current member in Kenya, the Kenya Youth Business Trust Pwani. The three new organisations are:

Somo

‘Somo’ (meaning “lesson” in Swahili) is an entrepreneurship support organisation operating in low-income urban communities, including Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Somo’s focus is on supporting businesses that can foster positive social change. So far, Somo has helped start 58 businesses, created 258 jobs and supported 140,000 people.

Sinapis

Sinapis works to empower entrepreneurs through its Aspire Programme for early stage businesses and its Entrepreneur Academy, an accelerator for businesses ready to grow. The word “sinapis” is a biblical reference to the mustard seed which starts out small yet grows to be great. Since Sinapis was established in 2011, it has trained almost 4,000 people, accelerated 56 businesses and created 7,000 jobs.

CAP YEI

CAP Youth Empowerment Institute (YEI) delivers employability skills training for young people through 38 training centres across Kenya and has reached more than 57,000 young people to date. Traditionally, it has focused on skills training in high-demand sectors to enable trainees to secure employment. However, in response to demand, CAP YEI has recently introduced new support for alumni interested in starting a business.

Anita Tiessen, YBI CEO, said:

“I was inspired by the talented young entrepreneurs we met when we visited Kenya. It’s no wonder that the country has been coined ‘Silicon Savanah’! Somo, Sinapis and CAP YEI are all doing valuable work to support young people to thrive, often in challenging circumstances. We are proud to have these organisations in our network and look forward to both learning from and supporting them.”

Amelia Hopkins-Phillips, ED and Co-founder of Somo, said:

“At Somo we believe that collaborations between organizations with similar missions is necessary to combat the siloed status quo and provide more opportunities for more people. We are excited to partner with YBI to find like-minded partners that want to create a better world together”.

Matthew Hohrs, CEO of Sinapis, said:

“The World Bank has calculated that over the next 15 years, around 600 million jobs are needed to absorb the youth entering the labor market. This is huge, and it is only by embracing knowledge sharing and partnership that we’ll stand a chance of meeting this goal. It is therefore with great excitement that Sinapis joins the YBI network today”.

Ndũng’ũ Kahĩhu, Executive Director of CAP YEI, said:

“Collaboration with YBI will allow CAP YEI to enhance the range of services we offer to marginalized Kenyan youth. I am inspired by the work that other YBI members are doing to remove barriers for young entrepreneurs and my hope is that by working together we’ll be able to reach more young people than ever before”.

With the addition of these three new members, the YBI network now extends to 54 organisations in 48 countries across six regions.

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