STEP in the Counties (STEP 4Y)

Foundation and Implementation
The Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP) is a joint project of Leuphana University and several partner institutions worldwide.
In 2006 STEP was founded by Prof. Michael Frese and Prof. Michael Gielnik and the team from Leuphana University of Luneburg, Germany in cooperation with Makerere University Business School, the Uganda Christian University, and Kyambogo University (Uganda).
The first training was conducted in 2009 at the Makerere University and the Uganda Christian University in Uganda. (See also: Example of Implementation). The evaluation of this pilot project showed significant effects on all relevant factors important for successful entrepreneurship. Subsequently, the STEP program expanded to Liberia and Kenya.
Kenyatta University is the pioneer and only university in Kenya to partner with Leuphana University of Leuneburg jointly with the German Commission for UNESCO and KNATCOM - UNESCO, in offering this program. It has been running since 2012.
It now runs in Uganda, Liberia and Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda since 2013.

Main objective
To provide an answer to adverse labor market conditions and limited employment opportunities by providing trainees with knowledge and skills for an alternative career option: self-employment and hence to transforming “students” to be job creators. This is in Kenya’s national objectives of Technical, Industrial, Vocational and Entrepreneurial Training (TIVET), namely, to provide opportunities that make school leavers self-reliant, assist them in acquisition of practical skills, and appropriate attitudes to undertake income generating activities. Uniqueness: - action-oriented and evidence based.


About the programme
The scope and duration of the training is dependent entirely on the content and the particular needs of the trainees. However, the training covers a standardized curriculum of 12 topics that cover a wide range of areas relevant to the needs of the youths.


ii.Selection of the youths/trainees
The County governments will be given the opportunity to select youths within their county for the training.


iii.Training Manual
There exists an approved training manual covering 12 topical areas prepared by University of Leuphana in collaboration with Kenyatta University.


Kenyatta University shall provide the trainers who are trained and certified by the University of Leuphana as STEP instructors.



Upon completion of the training, the trainees shall be given a certificate issued by Kenyatta University and co-signed by the University of Leuphana and the county government benefitting from the program.


Envisaged benefits
a) Creation of jobs/empowered and skilled youths
The core aim of STEP - 4Y is to inculcate the necessary skills in the youths to make them job creators rather than job seekers. This has been proven for the 3 years the program has been implemented at Kenyatta University where 86% of the trainees were able to start small businesses successfully.


b) Reduction of crime & radicalization
Statistics show that most petty and serious crimes are committed by people within the age bracket of 18-34 years majorly due to unemployment and lack of a source of income. STEP – 4Y intends to empower the youths to be able to think “outside the box” and start innovative enterprises that will generate income for them and keep them occupied. This will greatly address security-related concerns thereby creating a sense of internal harmony and peace in the regions.


c) Complementing the Sustainable Development Goals and Kenya’s Vision 2030
The program intends to contribute towards addressing the MDG number one on Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and Kenya’s Vision 2030 that’s founded on Enhanced equity and wealth creation opportunities for the poor (among others) by agitating for self-employment through youth empowerment initiatives that aim to create alternate income generating activities for the youths in Kenya.


d) Less dependability on government by youth communities
An economically disempowered community or group of persons is a liability to those in positions of authority. STEP-4Y provides a hands-on skill training initiative to make the youths in Kenya less dependable on the Government by giving them skills that will make them utilize Government loans such as Uwezo Fund and Youth Fund in order to be self-sufficient economically.


Pioneer university in Kenya to run STEP. The only university that has been conducting STEP for the last 3 years.
Joint Partnership and already signed MOU with:
o Leuphana University/German Commission for UNESCO/BASF (funded STEP at Kenyatta University since its inception in 2012).
12 members of teaching staff were trained as trainers of STEP in 2011 and in 2015 and 2016; an additional 24 were equally trained.
STEP has been successfully implemented three times at Kenyatta University; the evaluation shows positive short- and long-term effects. There are success stories that are documented (Report by STEP team in Germany about KU). A recap of short-term evaluation Kenyatta indicates:-
oOver 1,500 KU students have been given the requisite STEP skills, over 800 started businesses since 2012 and the success rate has been over and above 88%.
oThere is a change in entrepreneurial mind-set: students identified more opportunities, were more confident, and showed more entrepreneurial planning and action.
oThese factors predict successful start-up and it is therefore expect that students will start more ventures and create more value
oSTEP has a positive impact on new venture creation; STEP boosts the start-up rate among undergraduate students
oSTEP has a positive effect on generated revenues
oSTEP works across different cohorts of students
In last years (2013) evaluation, KU was ranked the best in running the STEP initiative in the 5 countries in Africa.
For further information please visit THE STE website 


In 2014, having seen the significance and success of STEP in Kenyatta University, Kenyatta University in collaboration with the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa started the STEP-4Yin the 47 counties in Kenya. On November 2014, STEP for Youth (STEP – 4Y) was initiated with Kiambu County piloting the program.
The project ran smoothly and attracted over 500 youths. However only 100 were recruited for the trial project and based on the limitation of the support.
This calls for more partners such as the county Governments to promote STEP at Counties. The Youth Fund played an instrumental role in the Kiambu County pilot.
The Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, fortunately, committed to sponsor one county in every Financial Year. In (2015/2016), Mombasa County was lucky to be the first to be sponsored and between January-April, 2016, a total of 100 youths were trained.
Due to this success, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a Germany-based organization agreed to sponsor STEP 4Y training in Nakuru County where training took place between July – August, 2016, with 100 youths being trained.

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