Compassion International Kenya has announced Daniel Mwayayi as the 2022 Youth Business Challenge winner. Mwayayi, a leather shoe manufacturer from Kilifi County, emerged as the first among 102 other entrepreneurs.

The challenge seeks to recognize the best business ideas, provide mentorship, and build peer cohorts that support sustainable business growth. The Initiative attracted 103 applications this year with actual businesses.
After the applications were submitted, twenty were shortlisted to pitch in front of a panel of judges.

Daniel Mwayayi took home a mobile phone and Ksh50,000.00 as seed capital to reinvest into his leather shoe manufacturing business. The second and third-placed winners received Ksh.30,000,00 and Ksh.20,000.00, respectively.

Daniel Mwayayi said, “I am happy and grateful to Compassion for walking with me, on my journey, from childhood to adulthood. Through them, I have been able to achieve my dream of education. Now, they
have challenged me to be a better entrepreneur, and this money will go a long way in helping me grow
my business.”

High unemployment and underemployment rates have forced the youth to innovate to sustain their livelihoods. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Quarterly Labour Force Report for January – March 2021, the overall employment-to-population ratio for the working-age population (15-64 years) was 63.7 per cent.

The age groups 20-24 and 25-29 continued to record the highest proportion of the unemployed (measured based on the strict definition of not working, seeking work in the last four weeks, and available to work) at (392,068 ) 16.3 per cent and (286,097) 9.1 per cent, respectively. Labor underutilization (time-related underemployment and unemployment) was (392,068) 23.2 per cent and (286,097) 15.3 per cent, respectively. Youth aged 20 – 24 have the highest long-term unemployment rate, which was (325,985) 13.5 per cent. Compassion International Kenya has committed to improving the livelihoods of the youth through mentorship and funding.

Compassion Kenya supports over 135,000 children from ages 0 – 22 from all over the country. The organization is doing this by improving health care, providing access to basic, and technical education, and empowering caregivers with knowledge and competencies to increase their income and become financially independent. In July 2022, Compassion International Kenya launched the second edition of the Youth Business Challenge for its program participants running MSMEs.

Compassion International Kenya has partnered with Sote Hub and Sinapis through the Aspire
Launchpad to offer post-event mentorship and incubation for young entrepreneurs. The remaining top
seventeen winners each received Ksh.10,000.00. All 20 participants will be inducted into incubation
programs to equip them with more skills to scale up.

Samuel Wambugu, the Compassion Kenya National Director, had this to say, “We are building the youth to focus on the available opportunities. The entrepreneurs you see here are problem solvers and
innovators. Nothing can be in the world without business, and Compassion International Kenya is
committed to developing professionals in any field.”