Impact Stories & Blogs
Our team share their insights and perspectives on the impact our program is having on youth in East and Central Africa.
Carolyne Njung'e, Kenya - Cohort 23
Carolyne Njung’e, is a 27-year old female social entrepreneur residing in Kakamega Town, Western Kenya. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, she stepped out of the banking industry to become a street-food (smokie-mayai) vendor and create employment opportunities for the youth within the county. This move saw the birth of Candi Fresh Kenya, an institution that is revolutionizing the street-food sub-sector with an aim of delivering safe and affordable food to economic consumers while creating decent employment for youth (especially young women). Through a unique business model, her team has been able to empower more than 80 youth and sustain over 100 households under their resilience Covid-19 program. Having registered a Self-Help Group for the youth, allowed them to engage in table-banking concept while sparing them from communal vices such as drug abuse, prostitution, and crime.
Seeking to address the rising rate of unemployment among the youth, Candi Fresh spotted gaps, and formulated solutions to improve livelihoods among youths in campus and informal settlements. Additionally, most job opportunities required a skill set that would take the youth years to achieve, hence they were unable to fit in immediately. Using her financial background and professional trainings from YALI RLC East Africa, Sinapis Entrepreneur Academy and Equity Group Foundation, she enabled the youth start and run mobile outlets by formalizing their day to day activities and business records essentially making them reliable, resilient and bankable.
Candi Fresh innovation is in the model itself. A start-up package for a ‘Smokie-mayai’ vendor consisting of boiled eggs and fried sausages costs Kes.10,000 consisting of a trolley, umbrella, dustcoat and a cap, less the stock itself. Candi Fresh Kenya breaks this barrier to enable youth and women start their own business units with as little as Kes.1,000 only!!!
Her team takes pride in changing lives. The business has high to create more job opportunities, increase production of raw materials by farmers and help students in transition to earn a living and have savings to facilitate their transition to the formal sector. Based on their business model, they have been selected as finalists in the Tony Elumelu Foundation Program and in the incoming Sinapis Business Competition. She has also been featured on Namba-1 TV, a local TV station under the ‘Hustle Mtaani Show’ https://fb.watch/7-nQvZ2woF/
Through an established partnership with Farmer's Choice Limited, she recently launched a depot in Kisumu City and replicated the model to transform 20 youth vendors in the first phase of the program. Going forward, she plans to expand the business to other satellite towns within the country as she projects their revenues and impact to grow substantially.
She is an SDG enthusiast who believes in resolve and determination of the youth to come up with sustainable solutions to the challenges facing Africa. Together we can transform the African Youth.