Promoting Entrepreneurship

25 percent (or five million) of Ivoirians under 40 are unemployed. Each year, these unemployed Ivoirians are joined by half a million new job seekers, threatening to destabilize the nation’s road to peace and economic recovery. In 2010, TechnoServe launched a business plan competition to empower young entrepreneurs to start businesses and create sustainable jobs. The competition, “Un Projet, Des Emplois, J’y Crois” (I Believe in Projects for Jobs) targets graduates in Abidjan and Bouaké and has helped 260 entrepreneurs develop business plans and assisted 149 businesses to launch, creating nearly 997 jobs. These businesses have achieved turnover of nearly $6.5 million in 2011 and 2012 and have attracted over $1.1 million in private investment.