Four groups win sh 500,000 in Taita Taveta entrepreneurship challenge

Taita Taveta governor Granton Samboja addressing young people during the challenge finale that saw four groups walk away with sh 500,000 each PHOTO COURTESY

Taita,TAVETA:The Organic Ilemba a group from Mwatate, Birikani youth group from Voi Sub County, Maweni youth group from Taveta and Eastern Arc Mountain Rangers a group from Wundanyi Sub County are the winners of the Jiamini Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge competition held on Thursday by the  County  Department of Youth, Sports, Culture and Tourism.

The four groups emerged winners after pitching their business ideas before a three-judge panel. A total of 36 groups from the four sub-counties participated in the competition.

Speaking when congratulating the winners of this year’s competition, Governor Granton Samboja said each group will receive sh.500,000 to be utilized as capital to kick-start their respective ideas.

“We are investing in the innovative idea. We have picked Taita Taveta University (TTU) to offer mentorship on entrepreneurship and incubation to enable you to utilize these funds effectively. We are convinced that with the knowledge you gain from the University you will be able to scale new heights,” said Governor Samboja.

TTU Dean School of Business, Economics, and Social Sciences Dr. Ogada Juma noted that the training of the winners will be carried out at their business incubation and development center.

“At TTU we have lecturers with vast experience in this field. We will coach and mentor them in order to ensure that they grow and expand their businesses. We are glad to be accorded this opportunity and therefore promise to deliver,” remarked the Dean.

The University is to develop a structured training program to be used to sharpen the skills of the youth.

According to the CECM  Youth, Sports, Culture and Tourism Bigvai Mwailemi, apart from the winners, the department will support every idea presented during the challenge.

“The judges have highlighted ways of improving every proposal presented here today. We will look into how best to support you going forward,” said CECM Bigvai.

Organic Ilemba is a group that carries out fish farming at Ngerenyi Dam. Having won the prize money, they are planning to install a cage at Ngerenyi dam with 9,000 fingerlings which will earn them 1.26 million after harvest.

Birikani youth group on the hand practices bee farming as a source of income and an elephant deterrent. According to the group representative,  they have 20 beehives where they harvest 10kg to 12kg of honey monthly. This harvest earns them sh. 200,000 to sh. 240,000 after every two months.

Taveta Maweni youth group plans to venture into mushroom farming on 1/8 acre piece of land. They estimate that they will spend ksh.350,000 and get a return of one million within a short period of time. They expect their first harvest within 2 months.

The Eastern Arc Mountain Rangers is a consultancy which has invested in environmental conservation at the Taita hills. Their strategy is to venture into bamboo farming. In their remarks, they mentioned that they will invest sh. 500,000 and get a return of 1.2 million per year. The project will take a spun of four years.