Originally published by International Youth Foundation on February 25, 2015
Growing up as a young girl in Zimbabwe, Fortune Sazola got the impression women weren’t meant to be entrepreneurs. Now a successful poultry farmer, Fortune and the Zimbabwe:Works (Z:W) program that helped her identify and reach her goals, are dispelling popular stereotypes of what the nation’s youth can achieve. Through Z:W, Fortune received life skills and entrepreneurship training, along with access to financing, to start her business. She is one of more than 8,500 youth reached through the IYF program—so far.
Initially funded through its first phase by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Z:W offers unemployed youth, ages 16 to 35, a menu of options, including life skills training, entrepreneurship development, access to finance, and civic leadership opportunities. Recognizing that there is no magic bullet in solving the nation’s youth livelihood needs, the program pursues an integrated, holistic approach firmly rooted in developing the capacity of local partners to deliver services.
Now entering a second phase, the program has brought together USAID and the Department for International Development (DFID) in the U.K. in a dynamic partnership to expand these services to thousands more young Zimbabweans. Over the next three years, IYF and its partners will provide increased economic opportunities for youth—with a particular focus on young Zimbabwean women—by creating improved pathways for young people to get jobs, access financial services, and start their own enterprises.
In the video below, watch as Fortune and Talent Tapera, another Z:W graduate now successfully employed, share what they have achieved through the program.
To learn more about partnership opportunities in Africa, please contact Emily Bloom, IYF’s Manager, Private Sector Partnerships.