Rural technology incubator Sote Hub is expanding to the coastal Kwale County in March, Disrupt Africa reported.
The incubator is rolling out ICT training for young people in partnership with the Kwale County Government’s Biashara Centre with the aims of being a business incubator for graduates, exposing them to mentorship, training, and networking opportunities.
Unlike many incubators which are based in urban areas especially Nairobi Sote Hub was first established in Voi, Taita Taveta to tap into the local talent of young people and help take their skills to the market.
Lack of employment especially in rural Kenya has left many young people bereft of hope and Sote Hub is expected to develop capacity that will see the youth either employ themselves or get gainful employment.
With the goal of increasing the employability and entrepreneurial skills of Kenyan youth. Its ICT Schools Project has to date reached 6,000 students in 12 schools, while the hub presently hosts 15 startups.
The Sote Hub idea was born from the Sote ICT project which started in 2010, implementing holistic approach that combines ICT integration and training with business skills at 12 schools in Taita Taveta, reaching out to over 5800 students and 200 teachers.
Sote Hub provides an open space for young innovators, startup companies, incubation and our community to think about the problems and come up with suitable local solutions.
The world is witnessing a wave of entrepreneurship initiatives to help deflate the threat of unemployment after years of employment driven education mindset, that has led to stagnation in global economic growth which many central banks are wrongly addressing by using money supply.
“The promise of jobs, economic growth and the optimism and hope that entrepreneurs bring to government efforts to create opportunity and prosperity for their citizens, has generated an extraordinary increase in attention from all levels of government in empowering their entrepreneurial ecosystems,” says the Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEDI).
Sote Hub will now be establishing itself in Kwale, best known for Diani Beach, the Shimoni caves, and the Shimba Hills National Reserve.
“Kwale has a competitive edge in terms of trade, industry, mining and tourism due to its strategic location and natural assets. However, the youth unemployment and underemployment remains a major challenge,” the hub said.
Sote Hub and the Kwale County Government will work together to offer ICT training to young people, and support capacity building programmes in areas of entrepreneurship and skills development for SMEs.