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‘Make it Happen’ traineeship

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This project is tackling unemployment in a county in Western Kenya, by giving trainees up-to-date ICT and business skills. ICS invited its partners and representatives from the public and private sectors to attend a three-day workshop. At the workshop, the curriculum and training material were developed. Read on to find out more!

Key words:

  • Youth entrepreneurship
  • Self-employment
  • Traineeship
  • Social enterprise
  • ICT skills
  • Agri-business

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The traineeship was called ‘Make It Happen’ and was organized in accordance with the nine steps below:

  1. Dream: the journey starts with identifying and formulating your personal dream. Who do you admire? What is your personal ambition? What are you good at? What inspires you? Where do you want to be in five years from now? What do you want to have achieved by the end of this traineeship?
  2. Orientation: this is all about defining your own business challenge or the given challenge. What is the problem? What is the problem behind the problem? Who is affected by these problems? Who or what has created these problems? Who would be interested in tackling those problems? What are the barriers to tackling those problems? In other words, who are the stakeholders involved and what are their individual stakes? Why would some stakeholders be interested in being part of the solution? And why would some obstruct any kind of change? Are there any similar challenges in other regions or countries? Which solutions have been developed in those cases? What can I learn from this? What else do I want to know? Who do I want to interview? What kinds of questions would I ask? How can I bring all the information together?
  3. Ideation: which ideas do I have to tackle this challenge? How can I frame these ideas as a business idea? Who are my potential customers? What are their desires and needs? How do I describe my idea for products or services for those customers? How can I organize a brainstorm with people to generate more ideas? How can I identify the best ideas?
  4. Concept: I have one or more ideas; how can I transform these into a business concept? What tools can I use? What would my service and/or product look like? What resources would I need to make my product or set up my service? What activities would I need to engage in to make it happen? What can I do myself? For which parts will I need other people or organizations? How do I approach those people? How can I best explain my concept? What do I need to know from them? How do (friendly) users or potential customers evaluate my concept?
  5. Prototyping: make a simple first version (prototype) of your product or service. Let people use and experience the prototype. What feedback do they give? What can I improve? How does it help the user? What is the value of my product/service to the user? How can I best explain and communicate the value of my product/service to users? What would they be willing to pay for it? How would they be willing to pay? Use their feedback to make improved prototypes and test again and again, until you are convinced that your business concept is feasible and desired by customers.
  6. Business plan: now you have practical experience with users and your product/service, you can use this to make a business plan. Which region do I want to target in the coming years? How many potential customers are there within that region? How many people can I convince to buy my product/service? How much revenue can I expect? What will it cost to make and deliver my product/service? How much cash do I need to start up? When would my business be profitable? How can I easily do financial administration?
  7. Pitching: can I finance it myself? Do I need some seed money? Who might be possible financiers? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different ways to access money? How can I best pitch my business idea to financiers?
  8. Celebration: we celebrate the end of this traineeship with a pitch to financiers and potential employers. This is the start of a lifetime’s journey.

The following activities were undertaken to produce the first six modules of the training manual:

  • Literature review of existing entrepreneurship training manuals to act as a guide for relevant content. Several manuals produced by the Uwezo Fund, Nailab and NairoBits were reviewed. Important components were identified, incorporated and customized for training.
  • Documentation of the relevant components, breaking them down to fit the lessons we had outlined.
  • Training commenced as a pilot, using the content that had been developed. We sought guidance from other players and trainees on the suitability of the material.
  • Review of first six modules of the curriculum by all the partners and trainees. The feedback was incorporated into the training manual to be used in subsequent training. The local context was taken into account in order to ensure the training manual was relevant.
  • Based on this feedback, the team embarked on developing the three remaining modules of the training programme.


The synergy between the five partners is a major strength of VIJANA RELOADED! The other three partners play important roles with their own specific expertise. Partnering with JOOUST university ensures quality and certification of our ICT training and curriculum, which is highly valued by potential employers; the local Kakamega ICT consortium (local ICT entrepreneurs) functions as a radar in the corporate sector to ensure relevance and that we respond to current market needs; and Nailab guarantees quality, based on its existing curriculum on entrepreneurship, skills development and training.


  • Six months for developing the training manual.
  • Financial resources (spending on logistics, accommodation and stationery).
  • Expertise from partners.


Draft training manual covering the first six modules.

Lessons learned

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel, but borrow from the existing literature to develop the training content that meets your needs.
  • Developing a training manual requires a lot of time and concentration.
  • Reviewing the manual mid-way or during the pilot phase helps you to see what is or isn’t working.
  • Holding a boot camp would have been a good way of fast-tracking the process.


  • Have a clear curriculum framework to guide the development of the training content. This will ensure seamless content and save you time and resources.

Project data sheet ICS


A social enterprise tackles unemployment in a County in western Kenya by offering up-to-date ICT and business skills.

Short facts
Sector: ICT
Lead partner: ICS – Investing in Children and their Societies
Overall budget for the project: € 523,376
Learn4Work contribution: € 175,000
Partner contribution: € 348,376
Implementation period: April 2014- December 2016

Use the Potential

Imagine you work hard to finish secondary school. Your family makes a lot of financial sacrifices for you to be able to finish. They trust the investment will be worth it. They expect once you will start working, it is your turn to help thém. But then, after graduation, you and almost half of your class do not find a job. Think about all the disappointment and ruined dreams of parents and their children! No wonder many students dropout beforehand. But for the youth in Kakamega County in western Kenya, there will be a solution. A new option to use their latent potential.

Skills that matter

Vijana Reloaded is a starting social enterprise that equips talented and motivated youth with ICT and entrepreneurial skills. Skills the local employers and businesses are looking for to hire. Vijana Reloaded is a response to the outdated curricula of Kenyan technical and vocational training centres. These schools often have a bad reputation, as students learn job skills that do not fit the requirements of today and the future. By the end of 2016 Vijana Reloaded plans to train 760 people, mainly high school graduates and college students with limited chances to find employment.

Private Sector’s central Role

Vijana Reloaded will collaborate with different existing technical and vocational institutions. Of course they will not use their outdated training modules, but they will use existing state of the art curricula from across the board to improve and update them. ‘What do employers want their employees to know?’ is the starting point for curriculum development. And it goes without saying that the private sector is part of the curriculum; companies provide real time ICT business challenges as cases that students have to solve. They also provide internships and are guest lecturers.

Social Enterprise

Vijana Reloaded is a social enterprise, not a charity. It offers ICT services to trainees and alumni to make profits. These profits however are invested in the organisation, to be able to survive and sustain so they can continue to support the youth of Kakamega County. And perhaps support even more people in the future as Vijana Reloaded plans to start new branches in other Counties. ‘Vijana’ means youth in Kiswahili. Vijana Reloaded stands for boys and girls in Kenya who are motivated and eager to contribute to society and want to be ‘reloaded’ with hands-on entrepreneurial and ICT skills. Once they graduate from Vijana Reloaded they are ready to work. They can earn a steady income working for local companies. Or they can start their own businesses. That is why trainees are supported to start saving money where possible before graduation. Or learn how to access credit to start a business of their own. Vijana Reloaded also supports them through a toolkit called ‘business-in-a-box’. This tool helps young entrepreneurs to set up their own business, for example in making new apps for smartphones.

Public Private Partnership

Lead partner ICS works closely with ProPortion Foundation who are experts on setting up social enterprises. The curriculum is jointly developed and implemented with existing technical and vocational education providers like NaiLab.

Other Contributing Partners:

Kakamega ICT Consortium, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology University (JOOUST) in Siaya County.

For further video’s we refer to the Vijana Reloaded YOUTUBE channel, where multiple videos can be found. This video in particular would be interesting to highlight: This is a documentation of the 3-day bootcamp in which the Vijana Reloaded team co-created the basic principles of the curriculum and recruitment campaign.

Vijana Reloaded Training Center

Mwalimu Centre (Kateco)
Kakamega, Kenya
Email: info[at]

Investing in Children and their Societies (ICS)

Smallepad 30 -H
3811 MG Amersfoort
Tel: +31 033 303 0250
Email: contact[at]
Contact: Mrs. Sabine van Leuveren
Email: Sabine.vanLeuveren[at]

ProPortion Foundation

Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr. Thomas Schuurmans

Nailab Accelerator Limited

Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr. Sam Gichuru

Jaramogi Oginga University of Science and Technology

Email: vc[at]
Contact: Mr. Amos Odhiambo Omamo

Kakamega ICT Consortium

Email: info[at]
Contact: Mr. Jared Dishon Omwandasi