Inclusive Training Program Will Help Young African Entrepreneurs Grow Their Businesses

The PAYED 5 program will harness digital tools to help micro-retailers in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire recover from the pandemic and increase their revenues

(Nairobi, Kenya) — Today, the Citi Foundation and international nonprofit TechnoServe announced launch of the fifth phase of the Pan-African Youth Entrepreneurship Development (PAYED 5) program, a partnership to support the growth of micro-retailers in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire. Over the next year, the program will help 1,600 entrepreneurial young people acquire the skills and connections they need to grow their businesses.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant economic impacts across Sub-Saharan Africa. During the most severe restrictions in Nigeria, for example, 56% of people with urban jobs had stopped working, and 80% of households lost labor income. A PAYED survey of micro-retailers across the region identified a 41% drop in average daily revenue and a 38% decline in the number of daily customers in shops.

The PAYED 5 program will help youth entrepreneurs lead the economic recovery from the pandemic. Building upon previous phases of the partnership, which collectively reached 7,500 micro-retailers, PAYED 5 will help entrepreneurs build essential skills to more profitably run their businesses. Modules include:

  • Shop Management Practices;
  • Recordkeeping;
  • Credit Management and Investment Opportunity; and
  • Supply Chain Management

Training will be delivered entirely virtually on the TalentLMS platform, leveraging TechnoServe’s experience providing remote training over the past 18 months. By delivering training virtually, the program will not only be able to comply with COVID-19 distancing measures, but also reach more entrepreneurs due to the efficiency of remote learning.

The program will recruit entrepreneurial young people in Nairobi, Kenya; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Asaba and Port Harcourt, Nigeria; and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. PAYED 5 will target a number of sectors within micro-retail, including cosmetics, clothes, and phone shops. Half the participants will be women, and for the first time, the program has set a target that 5% of program participants will be people living with disabilities, helping to create a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.

It is expected that upon completion of the program, graduates will increase their business revenue by an average of 30%.

Building on the experience of previous phases, PAYED 5 will also leverage the expertise of Citi staff who will volunteer and provide mentorship to the entrepreneurs. “It’s a memorable and fulfilling partnership, where our volunteers from all levels want to be involved,” said Akin Dawodu, CEO, Citi Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Entrepreneurial young people must be at the forefront of our region’s economic recovery,” said Alice Waweru, regional program manager for TechnoServe. “In launching PAYED 5, we are excited to build upon the success of our partnership with the Citi Foundation, leverage digital tools, and deliver even more effective support to a larger and more diverse group of young entrepreneurs.”


About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. The foundation invests 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 fulfil their mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit

About TechnoServe

TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A non-profit organization operating in 30 countries, we work with hard-working men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. By linking people to information, capital, and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities.

Founded over 50 years ago, TechnoServe has been named the #1 nonprofit for fighting poverty by an independent charity ratings agency.

More information at: Facebook: @TechnoServe | Twitter: @TechnoServe | LinkedIn: @TechnoServe