Business Development

SIAYA COMMUNITY CENTER ISCRC Business Development programme aims to provide a vast array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in Siaya County. By supporting business growth, sustainability and enhancing the creation of new businesses entities, ISCRC will foster local economic development through job creation and retention. The centre aims to achieve this through professional business advising, training and other small business assistance programs. Professional business services to be offered at the centre include: development of business plans; financial packaging and lending assistance; trade and marketing support; disaster recovery assistance; procurement and contracting; and market research services.

ISCRC aims to serve all population groups in Siaya County, including: minorities; women; old people, disabled as well as individuals in low and moderate income urban and rural areas. Based on community needs, local business trends and individual business requirements, ISCRC will modify their services to meet the evolving needs of the hundreds of small business community in Siaya, and possibly extend its work beyond the borders of Siaya County.

In order to succeed in its objectives, ISCRC will seek support and partnerships with the county government, donor organisations and private sector.

Youth Development

The objective of ISCRC’s Youth Development programme is to establish a wide-based community movement which encourages the positive involvement of young people in solving socio-economic issues which affect them. In so doing, the community will treat the youth as resources, not as problems as is often the case. The programme aims to empower Siaya youth by providing learning opportunities particularly with regard to social, health, education, employment and life skills. To achieve this, ISCRC provides a walk-in, youth friendly environment to allow young people to access a range of referral and information services. This is also an opportunity to check out the other services available at the centre including Business Development, and self-identify services that would be helpful.

Services available under the youth development programme include:

· Outreach support and counselling, group work/peer support, relationship counselling, and increasing community connectedness to help in developing a network of supports in the community.

· Bridging youth to community resources by recognizing and celebrating positive youth activities and providing assistance in gaining access to social, environmental, and economic resources in Siaya.

· Youth Advisory meetings designed to give youth opportunities to share their ideas, strengths and visions. Guest speakers, community members and presenters are among those who attend youth Advisory meetings.

· Volunteer positions, training and professional development opportunities

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

New Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become increasingly important in community strengthening, and providing a ‘last-mile’ connectivity service to users. ICTs are particularly helpful in addressing aggregated demands at the community level particularly because they are versatile enough to meet not only the diverse needs of various social groups but also the range of demands of every individual in a community. The primary goal of ISCRC’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) programme is to support community development in Siaya while bridging the digital divide through the use of communications and computing technologies. The primary aims of ISCRC’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) programme are to:

· Facilitate access to the internet and information technologies in general by local communities and community groups in Siaya

· To train local communities and community groups on the use of internet and ICTs in general as socio-economic development tools

· To facilitate the use of ICTs for mobilization including campaigns, organization building, networking and solidarity among various local community members as well as community groups in Siaya

· To participate in advocacy initiatives concerning broader access to ICTs by poor and marginalised groups in Siaya County.

ISCRC’s ICT concept encompasses both ‘traditional’ as well as new forms of information technologies including radio, print media, web-based and internet media, photography, and others.

Rights and Empowerment Programme

Lack of knowledge, information and resources has prevented local communities in Siaya from taking advantage of available resources to improve their livelihoods. Moreover, the lack of sufficient knowledge, information and resources has led to continued unsustainable use of natural resources, exacerbating poverty amongst local communities. Local communities are also more often than not unable to voice their concerns and hold political and business leaders to account when socio-economic rights are violated. Empowerment is not only key to addressing these challenges, but also to the success and sustainability of local development initiatives particularly in areas where poor people face pressing challenges to their livelihoods. ISCRC’s Rights and Empowerment Programme aims to:

· Support poor people’s rights and access to natural resources;

· Support participatory and accountable knowledge and advisory processes;

· Enhance the participation of poor rural producers in agricultural and related markets;

· Supporting poor rural people’s participation in policy and governance processes.

ISCRC’ approach to fostering empowerment in Siaya involves community trainings; providing access to relevant information; and engagements with a range of stakeholders, including community-based organisations, national and county government agencies, Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), and the private sector. The programme gives special attention to poor people, women and other vulnerable groups in Siaya by supporting their organisations; and facilitating and institutionalising constructive interactions among the different interests.