TechnoServe’s work – fighting poverty around the world – is full of striking stories and images. Every month, we are honored to share uplifting images of the courageous journeys that our clients take to seize opportunities to build a better future.
Almost 90% of the world’s youth live in developing countries, and nearly one billion of these young people will enter the job market in the next 10 years. Ensuring young people gain meaningful economic opportunities is essential to reducing poverty and ensuring secure, stable societies.
TechnoServe helps young people across the developing world build self-confidence, obtain critical business skills, identify local market opportunities, and pursue meaningful livelihoods through entrepreneurship or employment.
This month’s photos highlight a few of the bright, determined young people who have built successful farms and businesses, even in the face of significant challenges. Read their stories, then vote for your favorite photo below.
Emanuel Barosha Ndiwene worked as an employee at a small shop in northern Tanzania but dreamed of opening his own business one day. By 2017, he had saved $480 – enough to move across the country to Dar es Salaam and rent a small shop.
Emanuel initially struggled to make his new business profitable. He only earned $50 per day, which was barely enough to cover the shop’s costs. Like many other micro-retailers, he did not have a financial or business management background, which led to challenges in running the business.
“I come from a very poor family,” Emanuel explains. “I could not go further with my education because my parents were not able to pay for my studies. I opted to explore business so that I can be able to help my parents and my other four relatives.”
RELATED BLOG POST: Strengthening Youth-Owned Shops in Tanzania Through Better Business Skills
In 2020, there were 120 million individuals with graduate degrees or above in India. Around 74 million of these graduates were employed, with approximately 40% in the formal sector and 60% in the informal sector.
The high unemployment rates among young people reveal a core mismatch between college training and skills sought by employers. Graduates often lack the requisite hard and soft skills required in the workplace due to poor education standards, coursework that focuses too heavily on theoretical subjects, and limited internship opportunities.
This mismatch has become more pronounced in recent years as businesses rapidly shift toward digital solutions. Graduates without 21st-century skills, such as digital literacy, find it increasingly hard to secure a job.
In Mumbai, TechnoServe has equipped young people from underprivileged backgrounds with critical skills training to help them access formal employment.
RELATED BLOG POST: In India, So Many Degrees, So Few Jobs
In Zimbabwe’s Honde Valley, the hopes of 20 young people are sprouting in neat rows on a green hillside shaded by lemon trees.
This coffee seedling nursery sprang from a renaissance that reached the youths’ community recently: an effort from Nespresso and TechnoServe to revive Zimbabwe’s once-renowned coffee sector by training hundreds of small farmers to improve the quality and quantity of their crop.
“We saw our parents come for the training and thought that this project is good, and that we should take over from our parents,” says Fanuel Munuku, 28. “But our motivation went to another level when we saw our parents get U.S. dollars [for their coffee]. We look forward to getting our own U.S. dollars.”
RELATED BLOG POST: Cultivating the Next Generation of Coffee Farmers
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