Framing the Future: Youth Skills in Focus

Our monthly photo series highlights the beauty and emotion in the lives of our clients around the world. This month, we’re featuring three young people who have gained the critical skills they need to succeed as entrepreneurs. Read their stories, then vote for your favorite photo.

Three images: a young woman in a kitchen baking, a young man packaging food in a store, and a woman sewing fabric in a shop. Part of a feature for World Youth Skills Day.

An estimated 73 million youth were unemployed in 2022. Ensuring these young people gain meaningful economic opportunities is essential to reducing poverty and creating secure, stable societies.

July 15 is World Youth Skills Day, an opportunity to highlight the importance of equipping young people with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. The United Nations General Assembly first established World Youth Skills Day in 2014. This year’s theme is “Youth Skills for Peace and Development,” which emphasizes young people’s critical role in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

TechnoServe works with young people across Africa, Asia, and Latin America to build self-confidence, obtain critical business skills, identify local market opportunities, and pursue meaningful livelihoods through entrepreneurship or employment. 

This month, meet three young people who are building their skills and creating brighter futures for themselves and their communities. Read their stories, then vote for your favorite photo.


Smiling young woman wearing a hair net and glasses, placing a tray of small, round baked goods into a large industrial oven.
Mariana dos Santos Pinho gained critical skills related to personal and professional effectiveness through her participation in a TechnoServe program.

At 18, Mariana dos Santos Pinho lived in Córrego dos Machados, a predominantly rural mining community in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. After graduating from high school in a nearby city, she moved back to her parents’ small farm but wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next. During this time, she heard of a TechnoServe program and decided to join. 

Through the program, Mariana gained critical skills related to personal and professional effectiveness. She then used her new skills to practice new recipes, develop business plans, and make other changes to her family’s business. 

“The program really changed my life, expanded my knowledge, and gave me more conviction about my choices,” Mariana shared. “It has contributed a lot to my personal change and made me see everything we have here at the farm with other eyes. Today, when I say that I’m staying here, people see confidence. One of the best things the course showed me was that we can dream and we can realize our dreams.” 



Young man in a blue patterned shirt standing behind the counter of a small, well-stocked convenience store filled with various household goods and food items. Part of a feature for World Youth Skills Day.
Emanuel Barosha Ndiwene inspects products in his shop in Tanzania.

In Tanzania, shopkeepers like Emanuel Barosha Ndiwene sometimes need more business and financial management skills to run profitable enterprises. However, these entrepreneurs can thrive with the right skills, earning critical income and providing essential consumer goods to local communities. 

Emanuel’s interest in entrepreneurship began at a young age and was born out of necessity. “I am coming from a very poor family,” he shared. “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.”

After joining a TechnoServe program, Emanuel changed how he ran his business. He gained critical financial and inventory management skills. He also learned the importance of separating personal and business expenses, eventually opening a business bank account for business savings.

After implementing what he learned in the program, Emanuel more than doubled his sales. With the extra income, he expanded his business and had money left over to support his family. 



Young woman operating a sewing machine in a colorful workshop, surrounded by vibrant fabrics hanging on the walls and shelves stocked with textiles.
Immaculee Ndagijimana sitting in her tailoring shop in Rwanda.

Like many young people in Rwanda, Immaculee Ndagijimana once struggled to find work. After considering several career paths, she decided to become a tailor. However, she was barely making enough money from her business to cover basic costs, and as a single parent of one, she knew she needed to figure out a better way to provide for her family.

After joining a TechnoServe program, Immaculee learned how to improve her business operations. The modules on goal setting, advertising, and personal effectiveness were most beneficial for her. After graduating from the program, she started training other women in her community on dressmaking. The income she generated from this training allowed her to expand her shop and buy more supplies, such as clothing, sewing machines, and thread.

The impact of the new skills has had a ripple effect on the community. “One of the ladies I trained gained enough independence to walk out of an abusive marriage and get a small job as an apprentice at a tailoring shop,” Immaculee shared. 


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