Wamuyu Mahinda

Ashoka Fellow
Nairobi, NA, Kenya
Fellow Since 2010
Youth Banner

Citation

This profile was prepared when Wamuyu Mahinda was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
Over 20 years, Wamuyu has had a hand in creating a movement of young Kenyan entrepreneurs and is building on this success to support more young people in rural and urban Kenya to succeed in their entrepreneurial ventures. She founded Youth Banner to work with youth serving organizations all over Kenya in applying the success principles she has learnt over the years to better empower their target groups. Through partner organizations, Wamuyu is setting up Youth Enterprise Clubs at district level all over Kenya as a forum to facilitate peer learning and support among young and aspiring entrepreneurs. She is establishing a network of business mentors and setting up an information directory that will become a reference point for any young entrepreneur seeking guidance and or support to start or grow their business. Wamuyu is further expanding the scope of the Business Enterprise Clubs to address the unique challenges facing young and rural business women among other socioeconomic issues.

Wamuyu’s goal is to create a generation of enterprising young people, most of whom are women and the majority of whom are rural. Though many people have commented on the demographic transition occurring in Africa, few seem as optimistic and proactive as Wamuyu when thinking about how to transform countries where a majority of the citizens are young. In Kenya, for example, more that 70 percent of the population is under the age of 35 and yet there is no clear strategy on how this critical mass of young people can be leveraged to cause development. Where others are foreboding and pessimistic, Wamuyu is energized by the success she has had in sparking youth entrepreneurship and is taking steps through Youth Banner to establish a framework that others can tap into to emulate her success.

As her work continues to grow and spread across the country, Wamuyu is beginning to use this platform to raise health, gender, and other social issues. As such she is ensuring that the young people she is serving are empowered not only to be confident and independent business people but also socially responsible citizens.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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