2.3.2 Provide Support to Youth Pre- and Post-Start Up to Increase Their Chances for Success
It is well known that training is best absorbed when it can be applied immediately and the same holds true for youth entrepreneurs. STRYDE spaces out its support to youth across the enterprise cycle, with touch points at critical stages in start up as well as later in the business cycle when specific technical assistance needs become apparent (See Section 2.4 for more on this point, directly from the perspectives of youth entrepreneurs). This staged strategy of support has been very successful as evidenced by the results for the first groups of youth who completed the STRYDE program.
TechnoServe is an enterprise development NGO working with enterprises and in high potential value chains to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. Via STRYDE in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, they posed the question as to how to facilitate the entry of more disadvantaged youth into enterprise ownership.
Youth are taken through a 12-month applied program, with the majority of the time spent providing mentorship and support as they enter into enterprise or employment. The figures below outline the support and training they receive, which comprises a mix of modules designed to build skills and to encourage self-confidence and more productive personal behavior.
The STRYDE pilot is still underway, but early results in this four-year initiative are promising. In the most recent graduating class, over 44 percent of the youth were not employed or operating an enterprise prior to enrolling in STRYDE, that percentage dropped down to 5 percent upon program completion with 50 percent of the total cohort operating an enterprise and 25 percent employed, with the remainder opting to return to school.