Resilience and innovation in the face of adversity: young refugees forge a path to entrepreneurship

Explore DCA's impactful work with young refugees and discover how we're empowering the next generation

DCA Kenya

Opportunities to pursue decent work and contribute fully to economic and social development are harder to come by in the Kakuma camp and the adjacent Kalobeyei settlement – especially for youth with no or limited education. Rather than wait for jobs to become available, many entrepreneurial young people are starting their own business in the highly competitive informal sector, including running micro and small enterprises, and creating jobs for themselves and others.

Tools to build entrepreneurs

Without support, it’s easy for these young people to lose hope. DanChurchAid (DCA) provides support measures aimed at facilitating economic and social entrepreneurship, such as demand-led technical skills training, employability and work readiness skills and training, and access to capital. With these tools, DCA supports refugee and host community youths to build their lives.

Since 2021, DCA, with funding from Danida, has awarded grants of 200,000 Kenya Shillings/KES (around USD 1,400) grants to 11 youth-led social enterprises with innovative business ideas that create social and environmental impact.

How we do it

DCA invites interested applicants to submit innovative business ideas that can positively impact the environment and society. After the two-week application period, shortlisted candidates undergo an interview conducted by a panel of six members from different stakeholders, including representatives from the Kenya Chambers of Commerce and financial institutions providers.

The final selection is based on the interview and the potential impact of the business idea on the environment and society. DCA selects candidates who demonstrate the most innovative ideas and the potential to create significant positive impacts on the environment and society.

Read more about the project Ajira Poa!

© Eunice Murathe
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Innovation, determination, and hope

These young entrepreneurs are driven by a fierce sense of determination and a relentless pursuit of innovative business ideas, creating jobs and opportunities that are transforming their communities. From fashion designers and artisanal craftspeople to tech innovators and agricultural pioneers, they are turning their dreams into reality, creating jobs and opportunities for themselves and their peers.

Through their stories, we glimpse a brighter, more hopeful future, one where the human spirit of resilience and creativity triumphs against all odds.

Join us as we explore this thriving ecosystem of youthful ambition and discover the inspiring stories of those driving this movement forward.

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