40 youth led businesses in forestry and agroforestry were selected to receive support for the next six months.

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United Nations Development Programme have developed the Green Economy Youth Activation Programme (GrEYAP) project. The Green Economy Youth Activation Programme (GrEYAP) project seeks to strengthen youth led businesses in forestry and agroforestry sectors by building their capacity in establishing and running sustainable business enterprises. The project will prioritize vulnerable youth groups and micro enterprises.

Sustainable growth of private commercial forestry activity requires competitive timber product value chains to emerge, underpinned by effective support services. Furthermore, key constraints along the production cycle, timber processing and marketing value chain need to be overcome.

The proposed project therefore seeks to support enterprises to create sustainable jobs/livelihoods and wealth, while promoting climate mitigation and adaptation. These enterprises will be actors in the primary and secondary agroforestry value chains. [The primary actors are engaged in the production of forestry products for use in their raw form such as: charcoal, firewood, poles and timber. Growers of tree seedlings are also categorized as primary actors. Secondary actors are mainly in the value addition phase, where they utilise inputs from the primary actors. They include producers/manufacturers of: wood carvings, furniture and joinery, fibre boards, wooden transmission poles, prefabricated housing, russ rafters and non–timber products (fruits, honey, gums and resins, medicinal tree barks, sandalwood essential oils, tannins e.t.c).

Successful applicants of this programme will receive technical support through business advisory, technical training, mentorship, technical training and networking opportunities to support them in scaling their businesses.

KCIC is mandated to provide technical support services to the successful applicants within this programme. This will include the following:

  1. Innovation Bootcamp:

This event will provide a platform for 40 youth innovators from various parts of the country to connect in order to collaborate and experience peer-to-peer learning and networking; foster dialogue and co-creation of solutions to challenges faced by youth innovators to strengthen the overall innovation ecosystem; as well as facilitate linkages between innovators and possible investors, incubator and mentorship programmes. The graduates of the boot camp will be admitted to the accelerator programme.

  1. Business Advisory

Business advisory services tackle all aspects of business from managing finances, marketing the product or service better and more widely, embarking on research and development activities, to improve operations. We will provide training and technical expertise in areas such as sales and marketing, branding, legal requirements, investment readiness, communication and governance. We will also work with the businesses to refine their business models using the Business Model Canvas tool.

  1. Mentorship

Our mentorship support is tailored to guide, handhold, encourage and support the entrepreneurs to find direction and work towards solutions that address existing business challenges while identifying opportunities to support sustainable growth. It will include both individual and group sessions.

  1. Technical Training

These training sessions address common gaps that cut across all the businesses that require technical knowledge or solutions. These may include lack of information on intellectual property, statutory compliance, governance e.t.c in which case we will offer relevant solutions and where necessary engage with the relevant institutions. This creates an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to widen their network and encourages them to proceed and resolve any existing challenges since a connection has been established.

  1. Networking

This activity is embedded within each of the other activities to help the entrepreneurs find new customers, identify potential partnerships and grow. Through interactions, the entrepreneurs may be able to acquire potential business leads while also exploring the possibility of synergistic benefits that may be achieved through partnerships. It will also promote seek to promote intercounty interactions to tap into potential markets in the neighbouring counties.