Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Kenya through youth entrepreneurship: A case study of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund

Abstract:

In response to the youth bulge in Africa and the concomitant rising unemployment and poverty levels in Africa, the government of Kenya, in line with the African Union Agenda 2063, has designed interventions to strategically position the country to harness the demographic dividend through youth entrepreneurship. The government of Kenya has designed youth programs to address the unemployment challenge and one of the flagship youth programs is the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (Charles et al., 2014). This study examines the design, conceptualization, implementation and response to the challenges of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund in Kenya in its quest to foster youth entrepreneurship. From a state level of analysis, this research focuses on the government’s role in harnessing the demographic dividend through the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (Youth Fund) intervention. Through the philosophical lens of Entrepreneurial State theory, this research envisages Kenya as an entrepreneurial state, acting within its mandate to give economic direction to all stakeholders for the economic development of the country, akin to the entrepreneurial states of the newly industrializing economies of South East Asia. The research methodology employed in this study is a qualitative content analysis, using documentary analysis and thematic analysis to analyze literature and key informant interviews respectively. The entrepreneurial state is viewed through various academic literature, but majorly hinged on the scholarly work of Tony Fu-Lai Yu and Marianna Mazzucato. The components of the entrepreneurial state derived from the two scholars are human action, opportunity discovery, learning, error-elimination and revision of plans and allocation of risks and rewards. The results of the research show that Kenya operates largely within the paradigm of an entrepreneurial state, but has lacked the consistency in error-correction and revision of plans that is consistent with the entrepreneurial state. The results of this research elucidate how the Youth Fund program was visionary and predominantly entrepreneurial in its design, conceptualization and implementation, but lacked the same aggressive rigor in its error elimination and allocation of risks and rewards. The recommendation put forward in this research is that Kenya reverts back to the bold and aggressive posture of the entrepreneurial state paradigm that characterized the design of its programs in the early 2000’s, such as the Vison 2030. The research also proposes that the government of Kenya grant more prominence and oversight to the Vision 2030 program on its flagship projects and consider creative revenue generation methods for its interventions. There is also a patent need for a clear definition of the mandate and posture of the Youth Fund, either as an affirmative fund or as an entrepreneurial state project, to allow the formation of the requisite policy structure to ensure its sustainable operations and consequently, effectively measure progress and impact. The research proposes an in-depth impact assessment of the Youth Fund from 2006 to 2022 to definitively examine its impact and effect on national socioeconomic growth and development.
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APA

Keari, M (2024). Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Kenya through youth entrepreneurship: A case study of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/harnessing-the-demographic-dividend-in-kenya-through-youth-entrepreneurship-a-case-study-of-the-youth-enterprise-development-fund

MLA 8th

Keari, Machoka "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Kenya through youth entrepreneurship: A case study of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund" Afribary. Afribary, 04 May. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/harnessing-the-demographic-dividend-in-kenya-through-youth-entrepreneurship-a-case-study-of-the-youth-enterprise-development-fund. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

MLA7

Keari, Machoka . "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Kenya through youth entrepreneurship: A case study of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund". Afribary, Afribary, 04 May. 2024. Web. 21 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/harnessing-the-demographic-dividend-in-kenya-through-youth-entrepreneurship-a-case-study-of-the-youth-enterprise-development-fund >.

Chicago

Keari, Machoka . "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Kenya through youth entrepreneurship: A case study of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund" Afribary (2024). Accessed May 21, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/harnessing-the-demographic-dividend-in-kenya-through-youth-entrepreneurship-a-case-study-of-the-youth-enterprise-development-fund