Today Stephen Machua https://twitter.com/StephenMachua hosted the first ever NAYD Twitter chat on Social Entrepreneurship and the perceptions the youth have. To start with what does Social Entrepreneurship mean? Do the young people really understand what it means? At the same time are some young people already doing it without really ‘labeling’ it is as social entrepreneurship? A participant said that the youth have being doing it for a long time now especially in the rural areas. As such further discussion among the youth is encouraged so as to develop youth skills, solve problems and place people at the centre of development.

The challenges that the youth face in Social Entrepreneurship were also discussed. Among them, a disconnect between employment opportunities and the youth’s involvement. It was pointed out  that most young people take up volunteerism, a fertile ground for innovation and thus Social Entrepreneurship, solely as a path for better employment chances than as a path to social entrepreneurship. Further, they can’t see themselves making a livelihood as a result of their investment. Finally, Social Entrepreneurship is perceived by many as targeting the problems of the extremely destitute.

After identifying the problems attached, the participants went ahead to identify possible courses of action. It was stressed that there is need for massive training of the youth on Social Entrepreneurship, what it entails and how to go about it. The youth who are already proactive in society should take part in training programs of community workers at the grassroots and also via different platforms like secondary schools and universities. To also get more young people involved, it is important to share the stories of successful social innovators, highlight these businesses and recognize organizations that can help young innovators. Two such organizations were participating in the chat; Kiva https://zip.kiva.org/loans which empowers social entrepreneurs by providing them with small loans that are interest free and Change Mind Change Future (CMCF Kenya) http://www.changemindchangefuture.org/.

Finally, it emerges from the chat that this is a broad topic which can’t be exhaustively discussed in one sitting just as social innovations can’t be done overnight. As such, the chat will continue on NAYD next week. Do make sure to follow NAYD here https://twitter.com/NAYDinfo so as to contribute your ideas.

NAYD would like to appreciate all the people who made our first Twitter Chat https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&q=%23NaydChat a success. Let’s do this more often.