The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) wants to co-invest in innovative private sector-led initiatives that provide businesses with access to suitably skilled personnel and help them to increase their employment of youth between the ages of 16-35.
For sustainable economic development that has the potential to transform the lives of Kenyan households, there is a need for higher productivity jobs with higher levels of value addition – therefore resulting in higher GDP per capita. This requires a three-dimensional shift:
- A shift to more productive sectors that create more value for the economy, for example from primary agriculture to the use of technology in farming: investing more in value chains, food processing, manufacturing, and construction.
- Developing more productive sub-sectors with specific services and products that help other (sub)sectors perform better, for example, business development services and technological innovations.
- A shift from lower productivity self-employment to (semi-)formal employment in productive firms.
The research has shown them that despite a wide range of challenges to youth employment, there is clear potential for young women and men to find decent employment. They have formulated two specific windows that focus on two sub-sectors:
- Digital Business Development Services: Digital Business Development Services use technology to create new value in business models, customer experiences and the internal capabilities that support its core operations. This covers both digital-only brands and traditional players that are transforming their businesses with digital technologies. This window cuts across more than one (sub-)sector and can include ICT, e-commerce, creative sectors, and digital agribusiness solutions. Hence, this window allows for a variety of private-sector driven project ideas, and they invite you to be creative yet build market demand. Examples of eligible project ideas relate to:
- Informal and formal job-matching platforms or apps with confirmed employers
- Supplying or using digital business management tools, like digital data management models for service delivery
- E-commerce & related delivery models for MSMEs and corporates providing both digital or logistical jobs for either employees or semi-employees (e.g. independent transporters hired by company).
- Scaling Up Green Jobs: Green growth means fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which well-being relies. This window invites applicants that have already tested innovative business models, products, or services in the green growth landscape. Their envisioned applicants are ready to scale up their activities, which involves significant increase in their labour demand. Examples of eligible projects:
- Value addition solutions that increase/diversify sales by higher or alternative processing levels, creating additional product variety, making use of excess produce, and even creating opportunities for other sectors to generate income from crop and animal products.
- Circular economy initiatives supporting waste management while creating demand for recycled products like plastics and animal feeds.
Thematic Focus Areas
CFYE have selected the two thematic focus-areas based on labour demand assessment, which in turn considered:
- Observed unmet labour demand;
- Match to youth’s need and interests;
- Opportunity for cross-sectoral flexibility with one skillset; and
- Potential for high productivity jobs with negative environmental or social impact.
The following general criteria for eligible proposals apply:
- Employment type: Initiatives in both the informal and formal sectors are eligible. However, they should focus on wage employment or semi-employment (working with agents or other semi- self-employed positions as part of a company’s business model). Fully independent self-employment without a matching mechanism with confirmed off-takers of products or services is not eligible.
- Business Development stage: They are looking for readily tested concepts ready for scaling up or scaling out (meaning already scaled up but ready to diversify). Idea stage ideas are not eligible. Lead applicants need to have been in active business for at least 2 years.
- Lead applicant: Both companies and NGOs are eligible as lead applicants, but there should be a business in the consortium (with confirmed labour demand) if an NGO is the lead applicant.
- Minimum number of jobs: The minimum number of jobs that need to be created, improved, or matched is 500, although they hope to receive proposals with higher numbers due to the focus on agency style business models.
- Decency of work: Basic requirements include an average monthly income at living wage level (at least Sh 23,400 depending on location), no more than 48 hours/week of work and jobs are maintained for at least 6 months.
- Thematic focus: Eligible projects need to focus on one of two windows: Digital Business Development Services or Scaling up Green Jobs.
For more information, visit https://fundforyouthemployment.nl/kenya/