Julius Shirima, the 2015 Pan-Commonwealth Youth Award recipient, tells us how he helps young business-people turn enterprising concepts into profitable ventures.
Julius is investing the monetary assistance from his award into building projects so that his entrepreneurial work has a sustainable impact on local communities. At the age of 19 in 2008 while I was in high school at the African Leadership Academy, I founded Darecha Limited. Initially, Darecha operated as a summer project to support and develop young entrepreneurs in Tanzania.
The idea of founding Darecha was to tackle the high youth unemployment rate in Tanzania by inspiring an entrepreneurial spirit and culture in young Tanzanians. After realising that most young entrepreneurs experience challenges in raising capital for their business ideas, my team and I envisioned Darecha to grow and become not only a youth entrepreneurship development organisation, but also a micro venture capital fund.
Darecha Limited invests in youth business ideas or ventures in order to grow them and generate jobs for other young Tanzanians. To ensure that the micro venture capital fund is sustainable, Darecha invests in sectors such as real estate by building low-cost houses in areas with high demand for rental services.
Proceeds from real estate projects go to the micro venture capital in order to support more young entrepreneurs. The video below gives a timeline of the construction of our recent real estate project.
We are grateful for the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, since we were able to partly fund the project using their monetary award.
If you know a pioneering young person aged 15-29 creating change in their communities, nominate them for a Commonwealth Youth Award.
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