BeGreen Africa Empowers Kenyan Youth Through Innovative Waste Management Training

Kenyan youth entrepreneurs are set to transform the waste management sector, thanks to the BeGreen Africa Entrepreneur Workshop held in Nairobi. This event, organized in partnership with UNICEF, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and UBA Kenya, aimed to equip young innovators with the skills to develop comprehensive business plans and pioneering solutions in waste management.

BeGreen Africa is a green entrepreneurship pilot program co-created by The Tony Elumelu Foundation, UNICEF Generation Unlimited (GenU), IKEA Foundation, and young green entrepreneurs. The program’s primary goal is to establish a holistic, sustainable, and youth-driven green entrepreneurship initiative in the waste sector in Kenya, and the green sectors in Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, and South Africa. It aims to enhance the social and economic prosperity of marginalized youth, address the triple planetary crisis, reduce inequalities, and create sustainable livelihoods.

The waste management sector offers significant opportunities for entrepreneurs to drive environmental and social change. As urbanization and industrial activities increase, efficient waste management becomes crucial for sustainable development. The BeGreen workshop provided participants with the expertise to generate innovative and sustainable business ideas and to craft detailed business plans and value propositions.

Kenya was chosen as the pilot country for this initiative due to its vibrant entrepreneurial environment and the pressing need for sustainable waste management solutions. The country’s growing youth population presents a unique opportunity to harness their potential in driving the green revolution. The program aims to mentor and train 1,000 entrepreneurs across Kenya, with 120 qualifying for USD 5,000 in seed funding to launch their green businesses.

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Ms. Mary Mulili, CEO/MD of UBA Kenya, delivered opening remarks at the workshop: “At UBA Kenya, we believe that empowering young entrepreneurs is essential for fostering sustainable development and economic growth. The BeGreen Africa initiative represents our commitment to encouraging innovative solutions in the waste management sector. We are proud to support these young entrepreneurs who are committed to building a greener and more sustainable future for Kenya and Africa as a whole. This initiative aligns with our strategy to promote innovative financial solutions and stimulate economic growth while protecting the environment.”

“UNICEF is proud to partner with the BeGreen Africa Programme, which empowers young entrepreneurs. This initiative is not just about job creation; it is about fostering a sense of responsibility towards our planet. By supporting these young entrepreneurs, we are investing in Kenya’s future and contributing to global efforts to combat climate change and environmental degradation.” Sandra Simbiri, UNICEF Generation Unlimited (GenU) Programme Specialist, added.

The BeGreen Africa initiative underscores the vital role of youth empowerment in addressing the global climate crisis. By providing young entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and resources, the program aims to cultivate a new generation of leaders capable of driving sustainable change.

Climate change is a significant challenge and the primary driver behind the Green Industrial Revolution. Innovative technologies are needed to create ‘green jobs’ that can address climate change and promote prosperity for both people and the planet. Supporting young people to lead the Green Industrial Revolution involves helping them grow the economy while safeguarding natural resources.

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