More than 1,300 youth from Kilifi County got a chance to engage and learn from BLAZE partners and mentors on entrepreneurship during BLAZE Be Your Own Boss Summit (BYOB) held at Mariakani Vocational Education and Training Centre.
The Mariakani summit marks the start of BLAZE engagements in the Coast region and comes two weeks after the conclusion Western Region Summits, which engaged over 9,000 youth in Kakamega, Kisii and Kisumu Counties. The regional engagement will culminate in a creation camp in Mombasa where entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to pitch their business ideas, with the top 3 in 8 categories sharing KES 800,000 in business support.
“As has been our mission since we launched BLAZE in 2016, the fourth edition of BLAZE Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) continues to empower Kenyan youth by providing access to a platform that allows them to connect, learn and showcase their talents,” said Michael Joseph, Safaricom CEO.
BYOB features youth mentorship summits and creation camps all focused on empowering Kenyan youth to achieve success by providing valuable information, skills and networking opportunities in a variety of fields including: creative arts, fashion, film and photography, music, agriculture, sales and production and sports.
Like in previous editions, attendees interacted with local mentors who are industry experts through interest-specific pods where they went through workshops and learnt from the mentor’s experience.
The Mariakani Edition featured mentors such as Fundi Frank (fashion designer), Nana Kimemia (IQ mentor), Catherine Kamau (Actress),Eric Musyoka (Music Producer), Jibril Blessing (Video Director), among others.
In addition to the mentors, BLAZE has partnered with Huawei, Google, IBM, USAID, Wezesha and other partners, to provide a mix of content, training and employment opportunities to BLAZE subscribers who attend the summits.
To complement the summits, BLAZE has also introduced a new platform dubbed BLAZE LINK, an aggregator of e-learning resources built to enable young people upgrade their skills through online courses and empower them to pursue success in their professions of interest.
“BLAZE LINK is a new addition to the BYOB platform, which is focused on empowering the youth as they journey towards success. We ar leveraging on the power of digital platforms so that we can reach those who cannot make it to the BYOB summits and creation camps,” said Mr. Joseph.
BLAZE is a sub-brand of Safaricom and was created to give youth aged 26 years and below products, services and benefits tailored specifically to meet their everyday needs. A first of its kind platform in Kenya, East and Central Africa, BLAZE was founded on what Kenyan youth say is most important to them: freedom, empowerment and the journey to self-discovery, ultimately leading to success.