Kenyan Youth Empowered in Waste Management by BeGreen Africa Entrepreneurial Workshop

Kenyan Youth Empowered in Waste Management by BeGreen Africa Entrepreneurial Workshop

Kenyan youth entrepreneurs are set to transform the waste management sector, thanks to the BeGreen Africa Entrepreneur Workshop held in Nairobi. This workshop, organized in collaboration with UNICEF, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and UBA Kenya, aimed to equip young innovators with the skills to develop comprehensive business plans and groundbreaking solutions in waste management.

BeGreen Africa is a green entrepreneurship pilot program co-created by The Tony Elumelu Foundation, UNICEF Generation Unlimited (GenU), IKEA Foundation, and young green entrepreneurs. The main goal of this program is to establish a holistic, sustainable, and youth-driven green entrepreneurship initiative in Kenya’s waste sector, as well as in the green sectors of Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, and South Africa. It seeks to boost the social and economic prosperity of marginalized youth, tackle the triple planetary crisis, reduce inequalities, and create sustainable livelihoods.

The waste management sector offers substantial opportunities for entrepreneurs to drive environmental and social change. With increasing urbanization and industrial activities, effective waste management is essential for sustainable development. The BeGreen workshop equipped participants with the knowledge to develop innovative and sustainable business ideas, and to prepare detailed business plans and value propositions.

Kenya was chosen as the pilot country for this initiative due to its dynamic entrepreneurial landscape and the need for sustainable waste management solutions. The growing youth population in Kenya presents a unique opportunity to harness their potential in driving the green revolution. The program aims to mentor and train 1,000 entrepreneurs across Kenya, with 120 of them qualifying for USD 5,000 in seed funding to launch their green businesses.

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Ms. Mary Mulili, CEO/MD of UBA Kenya, delivered opening remarks at the workshop: “At UBA Kenya, we believe that empowering young entrepreneurs is crucial for promoting sustainable development and economic growth. The BeGreen Africa initiative demonstrates our commitment to fostering innovative solutions in the waste management sector. We are proud to support these young entrepreneurs who are dedicated to creating a greener and more sustainable future for Kenya and Africa as a whole. This initiative aligns with our strategy to promote innovative financial solutions and stimulate economic growth while protecting the environment.”

Sandra Simbiri, UNICEF Generation Unlimited (GenU) Programme Specialist, added: “UNICEF is proud to partner with the BeGreen Africa Programme, which empowers young entrepreneurs. This initiative is not just about job creation; it is about instilling a sense of responsibility towards our planet. By supporting these young entrepreneurs, we are investing in Kenya’s future and contributing to global efforts to combat climate change and environmental degradation.”

The BeGreen Africa initiative highlights the crucial role of youth empowerment in addressing the global climate crisis. By providing young entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and resources, the program aims to foster a new generation of leaders capable of driving sustainable change.

Climate change is a significant challenge and the primary force behind the Green Industrial Revolution. Innovative technologies are needed to create ‘green jobs’ that can address climate change and promote prosperity for both people and the planet. Supporting young people to lead the Green Industrial Revolution involves helping them grow the economy while safeguarding natural resources.

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