Sanergy is always on the lookout for ways to work with youth throughout the slums. Many of our teammates doing waste collection, sales, fabrication, marketing, business support and installation are youth (aged between 18-34 in Kenya). However, we have not yet had the chance to work with youth as Fresh Life Operators. That’s about to change thanks to a partnership we’ve forged with the Kenya Youth Business Trust – the local chapter of The Prince of Wales’ Youth Business International – and through the generosity of the Mackintosh Foundation in the UK.
Last week, we welcomed 12 young people to a weeklong training focused on how to launch a sanitation business. We had thought that there would be a drop off in attendance over the course of the week; who really wants to run a toilet business after all? In fact, the opposite occurred: attendance rose to 14 people!
The participants went through the nuts and bolts of running a business: accounting, projecting financials, SWOT analyses, understanding your customer, effective marketing and branding strategies to name just a few. One wrinkle was that each attendee had to list a mentor– somebody in the community who would vouch for them – in order to participate in the training. Later this month, those mentors will receive a different training from KYBT about how to encourage and help youth thrive.
The week culminated in a grand finale 5-minute Pitch Competition. The attendees knocked our socks off with their composure and confidence under pressure! We were thrilled with the outcome and, in the coming month, will be thrilled for the first of these youth to become Fresh Life Operators.
Sanergy looks forward to welcoming these FLOs into the Fresh Life family and to hosting the next training in late May.