Award winner Ekalale Susan says that knowledge gained on the Enterprise Challenge programme has enabled her to “set up my business, helping my family and paying my school fees” as Prince’s Trust International celebrates her win at the British High Commissioner’s residence.
- The Global Award recognises an outstanding young person on a Prince’s Trust programme around the world.
- When Covid-19 restrictions caused her parents’ work to dry up, Ekalale Susan took inspiration from entrepreneurship programme and set up a business that is now providing her family with a reliable income.
Prince’s Trust International is celebrating a young Kenyan businesswoman, Ekalale Susan from Turkana County, who has received the Global Award from the British High Commissioner, Her Excellency Jane Marriott, at her residence in Nairobi. Sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation, the Global Award recognises an outstanding young person on a Prince’s Trust programme.
Founded by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Prince’s Trust International now works with partners in 15 countries across Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe. The charity has been working in Kenya since 2019, partnering with the Asante Africa Foundation to deliver Enterprise Challenge, among other initiatives.
The Enterprise Challenge programme inspires young people in Kenya to develop practical business skills through coaching, mentoring, and a virtual business simulation game.
Growing up in rural Kenya, Ekalale Susan (20) lives with her family. A hard worker who relishes every opportunity, Ekalale Susan is now in Grade 4 studying sciences with the hope of becoming a doctor. In 2020, the Asante Africa Foundation began trialling Prince’s Trust International’s Enterprise Challenge programme and Ekalale Susan was among the first intake.
By the second half of 2020, almost 25% of Kenyans in their 20s were not in education, employment or training (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics). As Covid-19 restrictions caused her parents’ work to dry up, Ekalale Susan stepped up to support her family. Her idea, inspired by the food business she had trialled in the Enterprise Challenge programme, was to set up a food stall of her own, sourcing fruit and vegetables from wholesalers and reselling them locally.
Ekalale Susan steadily expanded the business. At the height of the pandemic, the grocery stall became the family’s main source of reliable income. “It was a really useful programme,” she explains, adding that “it changed my life because it enabled me to start my business”. Ekalale Susan hopes to use the income from her business to help fund her medical degree.
After receiving the award at the British High Commissioner’s residence, Ekalale Susan said:
“I would like to thank Asante Africa Foundation and Prince’s Trust International for giving me the opportunity of empowerment through leadership and entrepreneurship. The skills I have learned, such as communication, resilience and entrepreneurship knowledge, have really impacted my life positively.”
Commenting on the celebration, Jane Marriott, British High Commissioner to Kenya, said:
“I’m delighted to host this ceremony to recognise Ekalale Susan and her fantastic achievements. It is great to see young people in Kenya benefitting from programmes like those delivered by Prince’s Trust International and its partners. Women like Ekalale Susan, who have come through challenging circumstances to succeed and provide for others, are an inspiration to us all.
“The UK has long been a strong supporter of girls’ education and women’s empowerment in Kenya, co-hosting the Global Education Summit with Kenya in London this July. As part of our Strategic Partnership, we will continue to play our part in supporting amazing women like Ekalale Susan in future”.
A recent report into the future of work, commissioned by Prince’s Trust International and supported by HSBC, found that 41% of young people internationally said setting up their own business is the profession in which they would most like to work. In addition, 34% saw entrepreneurship as providing the most opportunities for their future careers.
The Enterprise Challenge programme is helping young people to succeed in a challenging economic climate. Despite Covid-19, the programme reached over 500 young people in Kenya. There has also been strong feedback, with participants highlighting improvements in teamwork (90%) and creative thinking (83%). Most significantly, 44% of participants – all still school students – have started saving money to start their own business.
In 2022, Prince’s Trust International will embed and scale up the Enterprise Challenge programme in East Africa, expanding their partnership with the Asante Africa Foundation to deliver in Tanzania and Uganda. This will ensure that many more young people in East Africa will be able to access the programme, providing them with the skills needed to set-up and grow their own businesses.
Will Straw, Chief Executive Officer of Prince’s Trust International, said:
“We are incredibly proud of Ekalale Susan’s determination and resolve to support her family and realise her dreams. We work with so many fantastic young people like Ekalale Susan in Kenya and beyond, who are developing business skills that will help them to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.
“Covid-19 has been immensely challenging for young people, so we must work together to ensure that they have the right tools to succeed now and in the future. Thanks to our partnership with the Asante Africa Foundation, we are now scaling up the Enterprise Challenge programme to reach more young people in Kenya and expanding this work into Uganda and Tanzania”.
More information on Ekalale Susan’s inspiring story is available here.
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About Prince’s Trust International
Prince’s Trust International has been supporting young people worldwide since 2015. We were founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to tackle the global crisis in youth unemployment, building on four decades of experience in the UK.
Our mission is to empower young people to learn, earn and thrive. We provide opportunities to develop the skills and confidence to succeed and deliver tangible employment outcomes. By blending our expertise with a global network of local partners, we develop programmes and interventions to help young people to build their own futures.
We are committed to amplifying the voices of young people on the global stage and putting their needs at the very heart of the design and delivery of our work. This complements global efforts to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those relating to quality education and decent work.
Our programmes and interventions are now present in 15 countries within the Commonwealth and beyond, across Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe.
We have supported more than 30,000 young people worldwide since 2015. During the pandemic, 79% of young people have been supported virtually. Despite the impact on job markets around the world, 68% of young people went into work, further education or training.
Prince’s Trust International’s Work in Kenya
Prince’s Trust International works in partnership with local organisations, the Asante Africa Foundation and Shujaaz Inc. We started working in Kenya in early 2020 with a pilot of the Enterprise Challenge programme and specialist consultancy services.
In 2020/21, we supported our partner Shujaaz Inc. in the development of their Biz training programme. Built around peer-to-peer education videos, Shujaaz Biz supports young entrepreneurs to start or grow their own micro-business. We are now supporting Shujaaz to evaluate and scale up this programme.
In 2020, Asante Africa Foundation began trialling Prince’s Trust International’s Enterprise Challenge programme. When the pandemic hit and schools closed, Asante adapted their plans to work with smaller groups in community settings.