Business Plan Competition for youth entrepreneurs in Beletweyn

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On April 7th 2016, Shaqodoon in partnership with Kaah Islamic Microfinance Services (KIMS) held a long day business plan competition event for 15 young entrepreneurs. The aim of the business plan was to encourage growth of entrepreneurial capabilities of young people and opportunity to pitch their business ideas in front of potential investors.

KIMS launched Youth Enterprise Initiative (YEI) shortly known as “KIMSPLUZ”, introducing new initiative intended to provide mid-size loan capital (from $5000 up to $50,000) to youth entrepreneurs to start or expand their businesses, with overall objective of expanding opportunities for Somali youth through entrepreneurship so it can be used as an effective strategy to fight against poverty and in particularly chronic unemployment among youth, through job creation and skills development, as well as providing access to finance.

Hence creating and building youth enterprises through a combination of innovative financial and non-financial services, from the time KIMSPLUZ was launched, over 400 loan applications had been received. Twenty entrepreneurs were selected from diverse business sectors by KIMS, successful shortlist were then enrolled into entrepreneurship boot camp training for period of two months. During the training period, youth gained access to comprehensive and interactive training course, business development support services, access to resources, as well as receiving guidance & support in developing winning business plans by Shaqodoon throughout the training period.

After completing two months comprehensive Build Your Business training, Shaqodoon organized one day elevator pitch event alongside with KIMS held at Daru-salam hotel, Beletweyn for eighteen [18] finalists.

The youth entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas in front of the investment committee/panel consisting of KIMS and Shaqodoon. The youth pitchers were given 10-15 minutes to present their business plans in front of the panellist followed by 10 minutes of question and answers after their pitch.

As part of normal investment process, KIMS will be conducting further due diligence on all youth pitchers, as a way to finalize and announce the winners.

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