Does Kenya’s Youth Enterprise Development Fund Serve Young People?

Volume 48 Number 3
Published: May 23, 2017

This article analyses issues surrounding a state-supported self‑employment and entrepreneurship programme in Kenya, the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF). Analysis of secondary data in addition to youth interviews suggest that although the YEDF generated employment and income for some young people, the frameworks are narrow and lack supportive implementation structures. In particular, YEDF projects are marred by mismanagement of funds, corruption, and ambiguous eligibility criteria. Moreover, young people lack social networks, entrepreneurial skills and mentorship that would allow them to effectively participate in the YEDF. Inadequate support structures exclude young people from the YEDF. Future policies and programmes must consider flexible and transparent eligibility criteria, stringent accountability mechanisms to curb corruption, and development of business skills and mentorship.


  • Unemployment
  • Livelihoods
  • Youth bulge
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship
From Issue: Vol. 48 No. 3 (2017) | Africa’s Youth Employment Challenge: New Perspectives