Global, Livestock Systems

The effectiveness of the Metro Agri-Food Living Lab for gender inclusive youth entrepreneurship development in Kenya

Gender inclusive youth entrepreneurship in Kenya
Project code
AUD 741,000
Research program manager
Dr Anna Okello
Project leader
Francis Wambalaba, United States International University
Commissioned organisation
United States International University - Africa
OCT 2018
SEP 2020
Project status
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This project aimed to build successful youth-led businesses in the agriculture sector by understanding the added value of training, mentoring, and funding

The world’s urban population will surpass its rural population by 2030. In order to provide food to the growing cities, an innovative and inclusive approach for agri-food entrepreneurs will be necessary. This presents an important opportunity for youth, whose unemployment rate surpasses that of adults by 25%.

The first phase of this project tested the effectiveness of various interventions, including training and business counselling, to actively engage Kenya’s youth in profitable agri-businesses. Three components were identified for the youth entrepreneurship model: training, mentoring, and funding. This second phase will integrate rigorous research design to test these components individually and in combination.

Additional key research topics will include gender barriers and opportunities for youth entrepreneurship and the role of the external environment, including government policies.

Project outcomes

  • Increasing the number of participants from 210 to 1,200.
  • Expanding the range of agribusinesses beyond poultry and fisheries.
  • Focusing strongly on gender (from the selection of participants to the evaluation of outcomes).
  • Increasing youth participation to boost sales, expand businesses, and improve livelihoods.
  • Creating benefits for an additional 15,000 youth as employees, suppliers, and peer mentors in the following 24 months.
  • Using a financing module to accelerate private investment into early-stage enterprises.
Key partners
Cultivate Africa's Future Fund
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)