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At least 300 youth from Nakuru County are now trading in decent trading premises. This follows the construction of 150 market stalls by the Youth Enterprise Development Fund in partnership with the county government. Some of these youth were hawkers, others are starting up businesses while others were struggling with high costs of renting business premises.
According to the Fund’s CEO Josiah Moriasi, trading space is one of the biggest challenges facing youth owned enterprises, mainly because of high rental costs. “The stalls will enable youth to conduct legitimate businesses and reduce enterprise development inhibitors such as, rental deposits, good will, and harassment from illegal business groups such as the outlawed Mungiki”, he said. The stalls are connected to electricity, located in prime, safe and secure places in the county.
Senior Commercial Infrastructure Officer Daniel Mathenge said that the Fund has so far allocated 140 stalls. This was done through a rigorous application and allocation process done by an adhoc committee consisting of representatives from the Fund, County Government and Youth. “Part of the criteria for selection is the uniqueness and diversity of the business with a likelihood for linkages”, he said.
Mr. Moriasi visited some of the youth beneficiaries occupying the stalls in the county. He congratulated them for taking up the business premises provided by the fund. " I now wish to encourage you to continue working hard and to also take up more opportunities such as business loans, training and market support in order to grow your businesses" he said.
Antony Shikuku, a youth entrepreneur running a retail shop in one of the stalls in Rongai thanked the fund for establishing the premises. “They are affordable compared to other commercial buildings in this area. Getting customers is also not a challenge because they are strategically placed along the highway," he said.
The fund has negotiated with the county government to reduce the license fees for the youth occupying the stalls. The stalls have been constructed in Njoro, Molo, Rongai, Gilgil and Naivasha constituencies. Construction of the market stalls is in line with the fund’s mandate of providing decent trading sites to youth entrepreneurs across the country.