2.6 Where do we go from here?
Given the broad spectrum of offerings under the YED umbrella, many directions remain. Education for employment and entrepreneurship, at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels, is a topic gaining significant momentum at the global level. Research and identification of successful models could and should lead to exciting advances in programs and policies. As demonstrated in the previous pages, technology’s contributions to these advances in education and business development are incipient but promising. Continual updating and refining of time-tested strategies and activities, such as labor market assessment and value chain approaches, will help to maximize benefits for young people, improve program design, and include more youth in economic development.
Participants concentrating on the YED track at the Making Cents International’s 2012 Conference identified three main priorities for the field. They include:
- Understanding opportunities and challenges associated with individual, group, and cooperative enterprises for marginalized youth: Participants encouraged the sector to test and document the different methodologies in a systematic manner, in order to identify what works where and why. Among those issues to take into account when preparing youth for individual or collective enterprise development are the level of risk, the pooling of resources, individual and community skill building needs, fostering an enabling environment, creating economies of scale, and the potential for conflict.
- Promoting enterprise development for HIV/AIDS affected youth: Participants identified this as an evidence gap for the YED sector, noting that more work has occurred related to accessing and enhancing youth financial services for this target group. In YED, issues of life skills and mentoring would be especially relevant to HIV/AIDS affected youth.
- Differentiating, in a meaningful way, between necessity, opportunity, and growth entrepreneurs: The YED sector acknowledges that young people become entrepreneurs for different reasons. For some, it is a survival strategy. For others, it is a life calling or an “a-ha” moment that leads them to business development. Yet the sector still needs to differentiate interventions and competencies for these different groups of entrepreneurs.