MbeleNaBiz Competition winners to pocket Kshs. 1.3B as grants

Written By: Ronald Owili

PHOTO | State House

750 young entrepreneurs who have been selected under the MbeleNaBiz Competition will share out Kshs. 1.3 billion as the contest came to close on Wednesday.

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The MbeleNaBiz Competition which was organized by the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs under the Kenya Youth Enterprise and Opportunities Project seeks to help youth-run enterprises expand their solutions.

Speaking during the awarding ceremony of MbeleNaBiz Business Plan Competition winners and the launch of the 3rd cycle Strategic Plan of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund covering the period 2020-2024 in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said of the total grant, Kshs. 900 million will go to 250 winners as grants.

“Each of these 250 entrepreneurs will receive an award of Kshs. 3.6 million to develop your dreams, The balance of Kshs. 450 million will be given as grants to the other 500 winners and each winner will get a total of Kshs. 900,000 to develop their innovations and ideas,” said President Uhuru.

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The President also revealed that the government has so far disbursed Kshs. 501 million through the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) since March last year to support youth-run enterprises affected by the coronavirus pandemic stay afloat.

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PHOTO | State House

“I am pleased to note that the Fund has disbursed a total of Ksh. 501 million in loans since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Kenya. These loans have helped to sustain youth owned enterprises, thereby enabling them to diversify into new opportunities, and to maintain employees,” said President Kenyatta.

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The National Treasury is expected to raise the revolving Fund from Ksh.4.5 billion to Ksh.5.5 billion with loan disbursements set to rise from the current Ksh.13.5 billion to Ksh.16 billion during the plan period.

To date, the YEDF has supported 2 million youth with loans worth Ksh.13.5 billion.

BBI goodies for the youth

After the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was passed by 38 counties on Tuesday to breach 24 counties as required by law, the President assured the youth that proposed 7-year tax holiday for young entrepreneurs will help grow their businesses through capital retention that would have been paid as taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority.

“If the 250 young entrepreneurs were to earn an average of 150,000 shillings every month from their initial grant of Kshs. 3.6 million, they would collectively make Kshs. 37.5 million a month in profit. And this translates to an average of about Kshs. 450 million per year or Kshs. 3.15 billion in seven years. If the taxman took his cut from these earnings, the 250 grantees we are empowering today would “forego” close to one Kshs . 1 billion to tax in seven years,” he noted.

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The MbeleNaBiz Business Plan Competition was organized by the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs under the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project and had a total of 11,000 entries from which the 750 winners were chosen.

Innovation and Youth Affairs under the Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project and had a total of 11,000 entries from which the 750 winners were chosen.

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