83.4 percent of Kenya’s workforce is in the informal sector and because of the pandemic, 544,000 people in this sector lost their source of income according to the economic survey 2021.
Social enterprise DijITali offers entrepreneurship skills to over 480 digital centers also known as cybercafes. The project has so far created 200 new jobs in the last 18 months, as well as supported employment for an additional 500 young people who own digital centers across the country.
Our departure from the term ‘cybercafe’ into the digital center has been prompted by the fact that these micro-enterprises are no longer just serving as a platform for people to access the internet, but doing a lot more in the communities by working with larger businesses, schools, etc.
83.4 percent of Kenya’s workforce is in the informal sector and because of the pandemic, 544,000 people in this sector lost their source of income according to the economic survey 2021. This means there is a need to focus on the informal sector and enhance their skills to ensure they can sustain themselves.
‘’Since we started working with our Dijitali centers in June 2020, over 33% of the centers have increased their incomes by between 60% and 200%. This impact is as a result of capacity building, asset financing, upskilling, and opportunity creation.’’ Said Tania Ngima, Managing Director DijITali.
Dijitali selected the digital centers to work with based on the locations and capacity (they each need to have basic computing equipment and capacity to participate in the offerings). DijITali’s targeted initiatives have seen the number of digital centers grow from 172 at the end of 2020 to 487 in October, with more cybercafes applying to be considered.
Ms. Ngima explained that part of the capacity and skills developed for the Dijitali centers and their shop attendants include design skills, marketing 101, tendering services, e-commerce, and digital marketing, E-citizen, and E-government training (HELB, NSSF, Ekra, NEMIC/TSC), cashflow and financial management.
In addition to training, ‘’We have launched an innovative B2B offering by connecting clients and partners. Our ideal client is one who wants to expand their footprint into the peri-urban and rural areas without significant investment into rent, staff, and other overheads. In this case, the Dijitali centers can act as the client’s local, periodical satellite offices or solution partners, giving them access to a community that already has a trusting relationship with the centers.
DijITali sees this as an opportunity to innovate by empowering hundreds of digital centers to provide youth with sustainable jobs, and have already started to register traction with the clients they are working with.