BBI Youth: Business incubation centres, four years HELB grace period for youths


Raila Odinga in Kisii with President Uhuru Kenyatta


Building Bridges reports give youth-owned businesses a seven-year tax break with graduates allowed a four-year grace period before payment of their study loans.

A huge attraction to the youth planning to go into business, the BBI team also wants the establishment of business incubation centres to provide business advisory assistance, which covers access to capital and government contracts.

“Most young people speaking to the steering committee during the validation period exhibited frustration with the job market. They also complained of having met the educational goals that they were told would guarantee them employment, but when they applied for jobs, there were persistent demands for them to have the experience, among other unattainable requirements for a new entrant in the job market,” the BBI report, released today, said.

The youth, the Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji-led team said, called for entry-level requirements for jobs in the private and public sector be made more accessible for those joining the workforce.

The BBI team wants the Micro and Small Enterprises Act, 2012 amended to task the authority to register and certify businesses owned by young people, as well as those by women and persons with disabilities.

BBI also addresses the cost of doing business and barriers to starting enterprises and the culture of saving improvement among Kenyans.

The report also called for the recognition of the home office as a place of business a huge turnaround that saw many people adopt the work-from-home strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic, and which the committee now wants to be extended.

In what will likely endear young graduates to the BBI report, the steering committee wants the Higher Education Loans Board Act amended.

The amendment will give young graduates a four-year grace period within which to start paying back their loans.

“The proposed amendment further exempt loanees without a source of income from paying interest on the loans advanced to them until such a time that the loanees start earning income,” the BBI report says.

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