Digital Business Program Impact

Over 2,500 Young, Kenyan Business Owners Empowered with Digital Skills

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, as highlighted in this article, only ten percent of Small and Medium sized Enterprises make it to ten years. Some of the major challenges attributed to this include lack of knowledge and experience and lack of training and mentorship. DOT Kenya in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, through the Digital Business program under the Daring to Shift project, has supported 2,598 young and innovative business women and men to grow and sustain their businesses.

The program aimed to support young business owners who experienced challenges with growing and sustaining their businesses through learning and coaching. After participating in the program, the beneficiaries were not only able to  improve their business skills and increase their confidence, but also integrate new digital tools and technologies which boosted the efficiency of their operations. Take a deep dive into some of the remarkable achievements made through the program. 

Empowered youth with digital skills

Martha Hanno, a Fruit Vendor based in Nairobi Kenya, shares how she gained social media marketing skills through the program. This has reduced the cost of movement that she incurred before and boosted her profits by marketing her business online.

“What I loved the most about the Digital Business program is that I do not have to use a lot of energy looking for clients. Before, I had to use money to move from town to town and office to office looking for clients. But after the program, I can now get clients using my phone at the comfort of my home.”

Another beneficiary, Laura Mbithi, Founder of Yanna Crafts and Design based in Mombasa takes us through her learning journey at DOT Kenya.

“Before the program I did not have an online presence and records of my business. I was just doing something that is earning me money. I learnt the importance of having an online presence for my business because it helps me reach a wider market and also learn from my competitors.”

During the program, Laura was empowered and inspired to open a Facebook and Instagram page for her business. She also learnt how to keep business records.

“I learnt the importance of having records for my business, which helps me track my goals.”

Helped youth understand their customers better 

Understanding customers is very crucial for business owners. One has to learn to tailor their services to the needs of every customer. Our Digital Business program provided profound insights on ‘knowing your customer.’ Abdallah Wazir, a cake vendor at Mashallah Cake Shop in Magongo, Mombasa Kenya, highlights how this module turned out to be beneficial in running his business.

“What I loved the most at DOT Kenya is the module on knowing your customer. I now know and understand my customers better.”

Martha, Laura, Adallah, and the over 2,500 entrepreneurs that we trained, showcase the power of embedding digital skills and tools in businesses. This has scaled up their businesses by them being able to reach a wider pool of customers. It has also enabled them to cut costs like in Martha’s case where she had to move around to search for clients.

D2S —an impactful initiative

D2S is a transformative multinational initiative that was implemented by Digital Opportunity Trust from 2019 to 2024 in various communities across Africa and the Middle East. This innovative initiative, with support from Global Affairs Canada, made it possible to  empower 2,598 entrepreneurs in Kenya, with a particular focus on young women. Over the project’s duration, it reached 13,877 community beneficiaries, with 60% of them being women.

The project focused on equipping youth with essential skills such as digital literacy, workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and social innovation. This holistic approach aimed to catalyse the creation of digital jobs, businesses, and local enterprises that address community-specific needs and value chains. D2S is rooted in the belief that young people, as co-designers of their own futures, play a pivotal role in driving inclusive growth, fostering resilience, and enabling community recovery. By bridging the digital divide, transforming ecosystems, and promoting social and economic development, D2S represented a beacon of positive change across the regions it serves especially during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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Samuel Mathenge


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