Citi Foundation and TechnoServe Partner for Economic Opportunity in Africa

The Partnership will work with small businesses, made up of young people and women across four sub-Saharan countries

New York – As entrepreneurship takes center stage in Africa this month at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Citi Foundation and TechnoServe have announced a partnership to stimulate entrepreneurship and job growth in four sub-Saharan countries. Citi Foundation’s African Youth and Women’s Business Development programme will develop business approaches that can be taken to scale by local organisations to provide employment, enhance incomes and increase the economic participation of women and youth.

Youth account for 60 percent of all Africans unemployed, according to the World Bank, with young women affected most severely. Underemployment is also a major concern, with more than 70 percent of Africa’s youth living on less than US$2 per day. The new partnership will address these problems by drawing on the Citi Foundation’s long experience supporting local economic development and TechnoServe’s expertise in promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses. The programme will seek to achieve the following:  

• Côte d’Ivoire: Provide jobs and business training for women to support the establishment of a network of women-owned shops across Abidjan.
• Nigeria: Work with young people (mostly women) from farming families to develop successful cashew-processing businesses.
• South Africa: Provide urban entrepreneurs with ongoing support, advice and training to help grow their small businesses into medium-sized enterprises that can employ many others in their communities.
• Uganda: Connect vulnerable girls with successful businesswomen, providing them with mentorship and training in trades like tailoring and agriculture.

The Citi Foundation and TechnoServe will measure the effectiveness of the projects, identify the approaches with the greatest impact, and determine how to scale up the initiatives to achieve even greater economic impact.

“Entrepreneurs make companies work, and companies make economies work. We are honoured to partner with TechnoServe as it promotes and develops businesses and mentorship programmes for women across West, East and South Africa,” said Amin Manekia, Citi Corporate Banking Head for sub-Saharan Africa.

“Everywhere I go in Africa, I am struck by the vibrancy and resourcefulness of its entrepreneurs,” said William Warshauer, President & CEO of TechnoServe. “TechnoServe is proud to work with a forward-thinking partner like Citi Foundation to help unlock this incredible economic potential. We are also excited by the opportunity here to build proven models for transformational change.”

About Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit

About TechnoServe
TechnoServe is a nonprofit organisation that develops business solutions to poverty. We work with enterprising men and women in 30 developing countries to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. By linking people to information, capital and markets, we help them create lasting prosperity for their families and communities. With millions of people positively impacted by TechnoServe’s work since 1968, we believe in the power of private enterprise to transform lives. For nine straight years, TechnoServe has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, placing us in the top 1 percent of all its rated nonprofits.

Media contacts
TechnoServe:   Rebecca Regan-Sachs, Tel +1 202 650 5713,
Citi:    Nicole Curtin, Tel +33 1 70 75 50 23,