Youth-to-Youth Fund

Target areas: Malindi, Kilifi, Makueni, Machakos, Nairobi, Meru, Nakuru, Vihiga, Kisumu, Migori, Siaya and Teso


Since 2010, the YEN has collaborated with ILO to deliver a youth entrepreneurship programme for East Africa entitled ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Facility’ (YEF). The programme was rolled out in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania over a 5year period (ending June 2015). The main objective of the programme was to contribute to the creation of decent work for young Africans, both as a means of self-employment and as job creation for others A major component of the YEF was the Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Fund for Entrepreneurship Promotion: a competitive grant scheme to identify and support youth-led entrepreneurship development projects as a means to create decent employment for youth.


The Fund was a tool to identify, support and promote innovative, small-scale projects on youth entrepreneurship, conceptualized, submitted and implemented by youth-led organizations. It gave youth an opportunity to contribute to youth employment as active development partners rather than just beneficiaries.


Through this ‘Idea Laboratory’, the youth-led organizations with the most innovative project ideas received a grant and complementary capacity building to help them implement their projects and test the viability of their ideas. Successful project ideas were promoted in order for them to be replicated and scaled-up for increased impact.

The scheme was implemented simultaneously in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Borrowing from experiences in implementation of the Y2Y Fund across East Africa, it was deemed appropriate that in 2013, the funds management and administration be outsourced. Through a competitive process, USTADI was identified as the most suitable implementing partner in Kenya for 2013/15. USTADI delivered the project through a unique model that utilized professional and accredited service providers to mentor beneficiaries through a value chain and enterprise development approach to sustenance at the local levels.


USTADI brought to the table a functional model for local enterprise development with market platforms for stimulating demand for professional services, granting and national learning and policy advocacy hence, contributing to the creation of decent work for young Kenyans, both as a means of self-employment and as job creation for others by;

  • Identifying, testing and promoting innovative entrepreneurship solutions to the youth employment challenges.
  • Giving the youth an opportunity, means and the capacity to actively participate in youth entrepreneurship development.


The key achievement of the Y2Y Fund project was been the identification of 23 grantees, successful implementation, scaling-up and replication of innovative entrepreneurship project ideas that led to the creation of 650 businesses and generating 1170 jobs for young people.

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