July 18, 2024

BeGreen Africa Workshop Equips Kenyan Youth with Waste Management Skills

BeGreen Africa Workshop Equips Kenyan Youth with Waste Management Skills

Kenyan youth entrepreneurs are set to revolutionize the waste management sector, thanks to the BeGreen Africa Entrepreneur Workshop held in Nairobi, which equipped them with the skills to develop comprehensive business plans and innovative solutions.

This workshop, held in partnership with UNICEF, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and UBA Kenya, aimed to empower young and innovative entrepreneurs in waste management to develop comprehensive business plans and innovative solutions for their businesses.

BeGreen Africa is a green entrepreneurship pilot program co-created by The Tony Elumelu Foundation, UNICEF Generation Unlimited (GenU), IKEA Foundation, and young green entrepreneurs. The key objective of this program is to create a holistic, sustainable, and youth-led green entrepreneurship initiative in the waste sector in Kenya, and the green sector in Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, and South Africa. It aims to advance marginalized youth’s social and economic prosperity while addressing the triple planetary crisis by reducing inequalities and creating sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their peers.

The waste management sector presents immense opportunities for entrepreneurs to drive environmental and social change. With increasing urbanization and industrial activities, effective waste management has become crucial for sustainable development. The BeGreen workshop provided entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge to develop innovative and sustainable business ideas, and prepare comprehensive business plans and value propositions aligned with their innovative business ideas.

Kenya was selected as the pilot country for this program due to its dynamic entrepreneurial landscape and the need for sustainable waste management solutions. The country’s growing youth population presents a unique opportunity to harness their potential in driving the green revolution. The program targets to mentor and train 1,000 entrepreneurs from across Kenya. Out of these entrepreneurs, 120 will qualify to benefit from the USD 5,000 seed funding to kickstart their green business ventures.

Ms. Mary Mulili, CEO/MD of UBA Kenya, provided opening remarks during the workshop: “At UBA Kenya, we believe that empowering young entrepreneurs is key to driving sustainable development and economic growth. The BeGreen Africa initiative is a commitment to fostering innovative solutions in the waste management sector. We are proud to support these young entrepreneurs who are dedicated to creating a greener and more sustainable future for Kenya and Africa at large. This commitment aligns with our organizational strategy to promote innovative financial solutions and foster economic growth while protecting the environment.”

Sandra Simbiri, UNICEF Generation Unlimited (GenU) Programme Specialist, added: “UNICEF is proud to be a partner of the BeGreen Africa Programme, which empowers young entrepreneurs. This program is not only about creating jobs but also about instilling a sense of responsibility towards our planet. By supporting these young entrepreneurs, we are investing in the future of Kenya and contributing to the global efforts to combat climate change and environmental degradation.”

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The BeGreen Africa initiative underscores the importance of youth empowerment in addressing the global climate crisis. By equipping young entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and resources, the program aims to create a new generation of leaders who are capable of driving sustainable change.

Climate change is a reality, and it is the major driving force behind the Green Industrial Revolution. New and innovative technologies are needed to create ‘green jobs’ that can tackle climate change and usher in prosperity for the combined benefit of people and the planet. If young people are to lead the Green Industrial Revolution, they must be supported to grow the economy while protecting natural resources.