Located in the Makueni county is the Mbooni sub county which is one of the sub-counties in the Makueni county. It is popularly known of its good climate as well as the beautiful Mbooni hills. In addition to the beautiful sceneries, it is also characterized by the good hearted and welcoming citizens. It has a population of 209,022 according to the latest census and it is covering an area of 949.2 km2. Amongst all the population, Mbooni sub county has quite a big number of the youths. But now the question at hand is, following the high unemployment rates and economical strains, how then do they manage in such a stiff environment? This documentation contains the journey of the youths towards creating their own employment.
Agriculture is the backbone of the local economy, and Mbooni youth have shown remarkable ingenuity in this sector. They have harnessed modern farming techniques, introduced crop diversification, and established cooperatives, collectively improving the agricultural landscape. From tomato farming to poultry keeping, these young entrepreneurs are making strides in agribusiness, providing fresh produce and creating jobs within the community. This has been made possible by organizations coming in and training the youths more on agriculture. This is evident from the organization farm Kenya which hosted a seminar in Mbooni and trained the youths on agriculture.
Secondly, it is the craft Artisanal Entrepreneurship. Mbooni’s creative youth have also found opportunities in crafts and artisanal businesses. Beadwork, traditional weaving, and pottery are some of the ventures that have gained prominence. Not only are these entrepreneurs preserving cultural heritage, but they are also creating employment and contributing to the area’s tourism potential.
The success of youth entrepreneurship in Mbooni Subcounty can be attributed in part to local government initiatives and partnerships. Various programs and training opportunities aimed at equipping young people with the necessary skills and knowledge for entrepreneurship have been introduced. Collaborations with non-governmental organizations, financial institutions, and private sector entities have facilitated access to funding, mentorship, and market linkages. This is evident by the seminar held in Makueni county where the governor H.E Mutula Kilonzo junior (MKJ) amongst other stakeholders held a training on the entrepreneurship to the youths. Youths were trained on how to create employment for themselves as well as others. There were also other entrepreneurs who shared their journey and how a youth can succeed as an entrepreneur.
Despite their resilience, young entrepreneurs in Mbooni subcounty face several challenges. Access to affordable financing remains a persistent issue. Infrastructure limitations, such as poor road networks and electricity supply, affect the efficiency and scalability of businesses. Market access and competition also pose significant challenges, requiring innovative marketing and distribution strategies.
As Mbooni youth continue to make their mark in the entrepreneurial landscape, several measures can further support their endeavours such as access to Finance: Government and financial institutions should continue to develop youth-friendly loan and grant schemes to facilitate start-up capital and expansion. This can either be in the form of loans or even support towards their entrepreneurial journey. There is also a need for Infrastructure Development: Investments in infrastructure, particularly in roads and reliable electricity supply, will significantly boost the local business environment. This is such as when transporting goods from the farms to the market. Some youths are doing online works and having electricity would boost them greatly.
Mbooni subcounty youth urges the government as well as well wishers help them boost Skill Development, Continuous training and capacity-building programs should be made available to ensure that youth entrepreneurs remain competitive and adaptable. Encouraging local and international market linkages will help diversify and expand opportunities for Mbooni youth entrepreneurs.
The youth of Mbooni Subcounty are driving economic transformation through entrepreneurship, taking strides to overcome challenges and leveraging their creativity, energy, and determination. As these young entrepreneurs continue to flourish, they bring hope and a brighter future to their community. Their stories of innovation and resilience serve as an inspiring example, not only in Mbooni subcounty but for youth across Kenya and beyond. It is through their hard work and dedication that Mbooni is becoming a hub of entrepreneurship and a model for youth empowerment.