The strategic focus of the youth fund is on enterprise development as a key strategy that will increase economic opportunities for, and participation by Kenyan Youth in nation building.The Youth Fund provides easy and cheap loans to young entrepreneurs including those engaged in production of cultural goods and services The Fund seeks to create employment opportunities for young people through entrepreneurship and encouraging them to be job creators and not job seekers. It does this by providing easy and affordable financial and business development support services to youth who are keen on starting or expanding businesses.The Kenya government conceived the idea of institutional financing as a way of addressing unemployment which essentially is a youth problem. The concept is based on the premise that micro, small, and medium enterprise development initiatives are likely to have the biggest impact on job creation. Young people who constitute the largest segment of the society, is the future of any economy and a key driver of employment growth and economic activities.
The main feature of the Youth Fund is the fact that it targets youth between the ages of 18 to 35 yeras of age. The fund has unique loan packages designed to attract youth engaged in different businesess. For example the Vuka loan package is advanced to youth who have existing formal businesses and are able to provide security. The objective of Vuka loan is to provide friendly large scale financing to youth businesses that are seeking to upscale their operations. Applicants may be individuals, partnerships or limited companies. Vuka loan finances business expansions only, not start-ups. The applicant may use the loan for working capital or to purchase income generating assets.
Youth can borrow from a minimum of Kshs.100, 000/= to a maximum of Kshs. 2,000,000/=. Vuka loan attracts an interest of 8% flat per annum. A loan application fee of 1% of the loan amount will be charged upon approval of the loan. This is netted off the loan amount at disbursement to take care of the pre-disbursement processes, including training.
However youth in the cultural and creative enterprises have expressed difficulties in accessing the funds due to lack of collateral as talent or creative possession is not viewed as collateral and is not recognized as it is inatangible. Youth acessing this loan therefore have to rely on other forms of tagible collateral that creative ideas.
The out comes of the funding include strengthening and growing of youth businesses through easy and cheap loans. The fund has enhanced the number of young people to venture in to business to create jobs as well as proviide employment to fellow youth.The inititiative has programmes on training youth people entreprenueral skills to help manage their busineses. the fund has also increased the production capacities of youth businesses to access markets that require large supplies which require extra capital. TThe fund has been facilitating and supporting small youth owned enterprises to develop linkages with large established enterprises/institutions for business and mentorship and facilitating the marketing of products and services of youth owned enterprises in domestic, regional and international marketshe Youth Fund provides Entrepreneurship training and appropriate Business Development Services to youth engaging in business in order to ensure that they have adequate skills, and are able to identify and tap into business opportunities, while embracing modern business management techniques. Management provides a mandatory pre-financing training programme to enhance sustainability of youth enterprisesThe fund has enhanced economic activities of young people contribution in national development.
The youth fund gets its finances from the government funding. the fund recieves an annual allocation of approximately kenya shillings 800 million per anum about 8 million dollars which is channeled to youth through the set criteria.