Safaricom Foundation, a charity funded by the Kenya-based telecommunications company Safaricom Limited, recently launched a “revolving fund” that is intended to assist youth-owned businesses in Kenya. Junior Achievement Kenya, a non-governmental organization (NGO) under US-based youth network, Junior Achievement (JA), that works to equip Kenya’s youth with entrepreneurship and business skills, and Hand in Hand Eastern Africa (HiHEA), a Kenya-based NGO that strives to reduce poverty through job creation and enterprise development, will contribute to the management of the fund by disbursing credit and offering business training to funded microentrepreneurs . Through this fund, the organizations aim to reduce unemployment by providing financial support to the unemployed and financially excluded Kenyan youth .
At the recent launch ceremony of the fund in Nairobi, Safaricom Foundation Chairman Joseph Ogutu stated that Safaricom has committed KES 14 million (USD 133,000) toward the pilot phase of the project, which will be initiated in the counties of Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Homa Bay, Busia and Kajiado at an unspecified date. Mr Ogutu added that there is a plan to “increase the funding” after the first year of operation.
By Hye In Arielle Oh, Research Associate
About Hand in Hand Eastern Africa (HiHEA)
Hand in Hand Eastern Africa (HiHEA) is a registered non-governmental organization (NGO) in Kenya that was launched in 2010. The organization is mandated by London-based Hand in Hand Global Network to operate in the Eastern Africa Region. As of 2015, HiHEA has operations in Kenya and Rwanda and the organization is working toward lifting marginalized communities out of poverty through economic and social empowerment initiatives such as job creation and enterprise development. As of 2015, HiHEA reports USD 4.3 million in loans and approximately 114,000 local entrepreneurs. As of 2015, HiHEA also reports that it has supported approximately 124,000 business ventures and created approximately 159,000 jobs.
About Junior Achievement Kenya
Junior Achievement Kenya is a non-governmental organization (NGO) and a member of the wider US-based youth network, Junior Achievement (JA), that works to equip the country’s youth with entrepreneurship and business skills. In partnership with the Ministry of Education of Kenya since 1999, the organization reports having assisted approximately 450,000 low-income young people. As of 2015, approximately 30,000 individuals annually participated in its programs.
About Safaricom Foundation
Safaricom Foundation was established by Safaricom Limited, a Kenya-based telecommunications company, in August 2003 as a registered charity. As of 2014, it reported disbursements of approximately KES 73.7 million (USD 700,100) in the country’s programs for health, KES 95.7 million (USD 909,100) for education, KES 2.6 million (USD 24,700) for environment, KES 16.4 million (USD 156,000) for economic empowerment and KES 127.4 million (USD 1.21 million) for other areas including disaster relief and water.
Safaricom is a Kenya-based telecommunications company that was established in April 1997 as a private limited liability company and was converted into a public company with limited liability in May 2002. Safaricom is 35-percent owned by the Government of Kenya and 40-percent owned by the UK-based telecommunications company Vodafone. As of 2015, the company reported total assets of KES 157 billion (USD 1.49 billion), return on equity of 32.6 percent and approximately 23.4 million customers.
Sources and Additional Resources:
 Disrupt Africa: “Safaricom Foundation launches fund for Kenyan youth-owned startups,” http://disrupt-africa.com/2015/08/safaricom-foundation-launches-fund-for-kenyan-youth-owned-startups/
 The Star: “Safaricom Foundation launches a start up fund,” http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/safaricom-foundation-launches-start-fund
 Mediamax, “Safaricom injects Sh14M seed capital for young entrepreneurs,” http://www.mediamaxnetwork.co.ke/k24-tv/160952/safaricom-injects-sh14m-seed-capital-for-young-entrepreneurs/
 Hand in Hand International: “Results: Kenya,” http://www.handinhandinternational.org/results/kenya/
 Safaricom: “Safaricom Limited Annual Report 2014 – Social Impact,” http://www.safaricom.co.ke/annualreport_2014/public/downloads/SOCIAL%20IMPACT.pdf
 The Financial Times LTD 2015: “Safaricom Ltd,” http://markets.ft.com/research//Markets/Tearsheets/Financials?s=SCOM:NAI&subview=BalanceSheet&period=a
 Safaricom: “Annual Reports,” http://www.safaricom.co.ke/financial-updates/annual-report
MicroCapital Universe Profile: “Hand in Hand Eastern Africa,” http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Hand+in+Hand+Eastern+Africa+%28HiHEA%29
MicroCapital Universe Profile: “Junior Achievement Kenya,” http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Junior+Achievement+Kenya
MicroCapital Universe Profile: “Safaricom Foundation,” http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=safaricom+foundation
MicroCapital Universe Profile: “Safaricom,” http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Safaricom
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