Six youth groups in Kigumo Constituency have received tools from the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA), that will enable them start income generating activities.
The groups that have a membership of between 35 to 40 members each received woodwork equipment, car wash machines, welding machines, welding shields, head gears, safety gloves, ear plugs and eye protection glasses.
They were first required to register under the Authority and be vetted by officials in order to qualify for the donations.
Other than the equipment, the groups were helped establish sheds where they would be conducting their businesses and open small stalls, where they will be securing their tools.
The Director-In-Charge of infrastructure under the Authority, Edward Karani, said its main objective is to support entrepreneurship.
“One of the ways we support entrepreneurs is by providing tools of trade and basic capacity building training, to enable them to practice their entrepreneurship in a sustainable manner,” he said.
According to Karani in the last two Financial Years, the Authority has invested Sh.1.3 billion in supporting small and medium traders across the country in a bid to create jobs.
It has also established 158 Constituency-Industrial Development Centres, which are equipped with machines and technology to provide user facilities for small traders in a bid to promote industrial development.
They also train artisans on how to produce high quality products that can be sold both locally and internationally.
“We are focused to growing the sector and supporting it to achieve sustainability and global competitiveness, where artisans can produce quality products that can sell even outside the country, taking advantage of various trade agreements that the government has entered into,” he said.
Karani noted that women, however, seem to keep-off technical work in manufacturing such as welding and carpentry, but more are involved in tailoring.
He said MSEA is encouraging diversity in the economic activities, saying the artistic aspects of both men and women, need to be explored to encourage inclusiveness.
Karani encouraged more groups, especially women to register with MSEA, so as to benefit from the government’s programmes, saying the Authority is accessible online.
“One of the benefits of getting these groups registered is that we have been able to come in as the government to support them,” he said.
Area Member of Parliament (MP), Wangari Mwaniki, noted that empowering the youth through income generating projects, is an effective way of fighting drug and substance abuse.
“There was an urgent need to re-direct their energies towards something productive,” she said, noting that she has dedicated her efforts to consolidating them into groups.
According to the MP, the Constituency now has some of the best boda boda operators’ organizations, while other youths engaged in various activities such as pig rearing.
Others groups engage in welding, car washes and carpentry and have been facilitated to start the businesses in partnership with the government.
“The Constituency Industrial Development Centre that is set to be established, will help other groups engage in various activities, including tailoring and bakeries,” she said.
“We want the bread consumed in the Constituency to be made here, and the uniforms worn by local schools to be made locally, Kigumo people will no longer travel to Murang’a town to buy metallic doors, because our own people will be making them here,” she said.
Wangari, a devoted Jubilee Government Supporter, said the government has been investing towards supporting Kenyans in the villages, which she said equates to Kenya Kwanza’s bottom-up economic model.
“The institutions are already there and fully functional they only need to be strengthened to work even better. What we are doing here, empowering the youths, is what they are calling bottom-up,” she said.