In this essay we argue that entrepreneurship-based policy and programmes to address the jobs challenge facing young people in rural Africa need to be much more firmly grounded. Specifically, in terms of expectations, design and implementation they must take explicit account of the highly diverse and changing rural and social realities within which young people both find themselves and help to fashion.
Something extraordinary is happening in Africa - a spirit of entrepreneurship is emerging. Africa’s economy is growing at a rapid pace, and its young population will require a new set of skills to take full advantage of the continent’s potential. However, young entrepreneurs face many challenges, including limited access to finance and business support services, unreliable technology, and a host of bureaucratic obstacles.
Hathay Bunano (‘hand-made’ in Bangla) produces hand-knitted children’s toys under our own brand, Pebble, and for international private-label clients around the world. Using an innovative and much-needed model of rural production, we have taken the less skilled and time-consuming production tasks to the villages, creating jobs for thousands of young women whose economic opportunities are quite limited.
Martin Burt´s article on The “Poverty Stoplight” Approach to Eliminating Multidimensional Poverty: Business, Civil Society, and Government Working Together in Paraguay describes a practical methodology recently developed by Fundación Paraguaya. The tool allows poor families to self-diagnose their level of poverty as a first step in developing a personalized strategy to lift themselves permanently out of poverty.
This article is the first installment in the blog series, Exploring the Business Case of Youth Savings. The series, presented by CGAP and Making Cents International, presents views on the business case for youth inclusive financial services. You will hear from financial service practitioners, policy-makers, and advocates from around the world.
The 2013 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference program is now available for you to review. The 2013 event will contain two Spotlights: "Opportunities for Rural Youth"focuses on how to support youth in rural areas. "Power of Technology" showcases how to utilize technology in your programming. The conference will take place September 10-12, 2013 in Washington, DC. Click here to view the interactive program. The 2013 “State of the Field” Publication is also available online. Click here to access the latest publication.
Making Cents International's Collaborative Learning and Action
Sep 10, 2013 (All day) to Sep 12, 2013 (All day)
The annual Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference is the premier learning event for practitioners, policy-makers, funders, private sector companies, technical assistance providers, researchers, educators, government representatives, and youth leaders working to increase economic opportunities for young people.
This case study examines the challenges that Save the Children and Fondation Zakoura Micro-Crédit (Zakoura) faced in implementing a USAID-funded financial services program for youth. It examines the institutional, local market, and programmatic difficulties encountered.
From 2006–2009, Save the Children and Zakoura partnered to implement a youth financial services and livelihoods promotion project called Linking Youth with Knowledge and Opportunities in Microfinance (LYKOM). The program included financial and business literacy training, savings promotion, and access to credit for youth businesses. LYKOM faced many program level challenges in areas such as human resources, institutional frustrations, partnership, communication, and the enabling environment. Lessons learned about youth financial services include:
Entrepreneurship training is important for many, but not all youth;
Young people need support in developing realistic goals and growth plans;
Family engagement is critical;
MFIs may need to adjust staffing structures to effectively provide youth services;