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Sources of Funds for Youth Entrepreneurs

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Young people are exploding with ideas. Business ideas and technological innovations that could potentially change their and indeed our world. However, because of lack of funding, these ideas are buried for years with no hope of ever seeing the light of day.

To help young entrepreneurs pursue their dreams, we’ve compiled a list of government funding and crowdfunding platforms where youths can source money to start businesses. Once you’ve settled for the one that suits your business funding needs, go ahead and apply. It could turn out to be the breakthrough you’ve been hoping for.

Government funding

The government of Kenya has several initiatives to help close the unemployment gap among youths. These initiatives offer loans at affordable rates to youth groups interested in expanding or starting a new business. Here are the three sources of funds for youth in business.

Uwezo Fund

This is a government initiative geared towards helping young people and women create employment for themselves through entrepreneurship. The fund is only available to youths and women in groups. Ideally, the group must be registered with 9 to 15 members between 18-35 years.

As a group, there must be evidence of your existence. That’s where the minutes of your meetings and bank statements come in. Of equal importance is that the group should be operating table banking.

The Uwezo Fund is distributed at the constituency level through the Constituency Development Fund. Ambitious youth groups can get affordable starting capital to start a commercial enterprise or explore their creativity in arts.

Youth Enterprise Fund (YEF)

The Youth Enterprise Fund is one of the vision 2030 flagship programs geared towards helping young people create employment through businesses. This initiative does more than funding youth projects. They provide training and facilitation, facilitate linkages between youth enterprises and large businesses, and provide trading premises.

Youth Enterprise Fund offers two types of loans, Rausha and Inua. The loans are only given to youth groups with a valid registration certificate and a minimum of five members. At least 70% of the members should be young people between 18-35 years.

Women Enterprise Fund (WEF)

Women Enterprise Fund helps young women expand existing businesses or create new ones through different funding initiatives. These include Tuinuke loan, bid and bond financing, capacity building, market support and linkage, and Local Purchase Order (LPO).

The women sourcing for funds can either be in groups or individuals. At the bare minimum, a group should have 70% of women. In addition, women should hold all the leadership positions.

Crowdfunding platforms

Crowdfunding is a viable source of funds for youth entrepreneurs. Crowdfunding is a source of funding where organizations, charities, and individuals can raise money from a group of people for a particular cause.

There are several crowdfunding websites that help people seek funds for different causes, from settling medical bills to saving whales. Here are six crowdfunding platforms you can seek funds for your business.

M-Changa

M-Changa is a Kenyan-based crowdfunding platform. The platform champions funding for different causes, including medical bills, farewell, churches, weddings, school fees, businesses, and organizations.

You can set up your profile for free and then create an engaging webpage with pictures and videos explaining your funding needs. Once the webpage is set up, it’s time to share the campaign with friends and family on social media.

It’s equally interesting to note that you can get started on M-Changa by dialing *483*57# and following the instructions.

M-Changa is big on mobile money. Fund seekers can operate the fundraising campaigns on their phones. Fundraisers can also send money through Equitel, Mpesa, or Airtel money. There are other options, such as PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard.

GoFundMe

GoFundMe is the most popular crowdfunding website in the world. People can raise funds for a wide range of courses, from seeking funds for graduation ceremonies to serious things like starting a business.

Once the fund seeker has created an account, they set up the fundraising goal, create a proposal that tells their story, add pictures and videos and share the campaign on social media or through text or email. From there, you can sit tight and wait for the donations.

FundRazr.com

FundRazr.com started in 2008 as a Facebook group. Fund seekers raised money through Facebook. A year later, FundRazr became a full-blown website with all the fundraising tools.

To get started on this platform, you sign in using your email. You can also get started using your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+ profile. From there, you create either a personal campaign or an organizational campaign, depending on your needs. Once you’ve created your campaign, you can increase the reach by sharing videos or pictures of the campaign on different social media platforms.

The platform supports fundraising for a wide range of causes — community help, arts, animal rescue, medical care, poverty alleviation, and education. If your business specializes in the same, you know where to search.

YouCaring.com

The brainchild of three friends who were inspired to continue helping others after their two years mission trip abroad, this platform’s initial goal was to help students raise funds for tuition fees. Currently, YouCaring.com has grown to include other initiatives such as adoption, medical, neighbours, and community. Their overlaying goal is to help raise funds for humanitarian causes.

Once you’ve created a profile using either email or Facebook, you can create a webpage to showcase why you need funding. The webpage template allows you to add pictures and videos. You can then share the webpage on your social media platforms. YouCaring.com is currently part of GoFundMe.

Kickstarter.com

Are you a creative busting with innovative, ambitious ideas that you are not sure will see the light of day? Worry no more. Kickstarter.com is the platform where you should share your dream.

Kickstarter.com is a crowdfunding platform designed with creatives in mind. Their goal is to help innovative individuals bring their projects to life. Creatives that are into art, technology, game, films, design, and music can sign up and set up their project funding goals together with the deadline and start seeking funds. If your project captures people’s attention, they’ll pledge money which you can only collect if the funds reach the funding goal.

Indiegogo.com

Indiegogo.com was established in 2008. The platform supports entrepreneurs with creative ideas at every stage of product development. From funding to retail, licensing, and distribution, Indiegogo works with different product development companies to help entrepreneurs kick start their businesses. They also have partnerships with retailers in different industries. This way, they minimize the hassle entrepreneurs go through to introduce their products in the market. The platform focuses on innovations in tech, creative works, and community projects.

Fund seekers can either sign up with email or Facebook and then create a webpage to share their groundbreaking products. The platform allows entrepreneurs to share not only the product story but also the stages of product development. From there, one can share their campaign through social media platforms.

Fundraisers support the work of entrepreneurs by going through the many innovations, evaluating the feasibility of the different projects, and giving insights on any production risk. From there, they can fund the project of their choice.

Also read: Most Common Reasons Why Youth Enterprises Fail to Get Funding

 

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