Invest in the hardworking people we serve.
Youth Economic Opportunity
Almost 90% of the world’s youth living in developing countries, and nearly one billion of these young people will enter the job market in the next 10 years. Ensuring these young people gain meaningful economic opportunities is essential to reducing poverty and ensuring secure, stable societies. TechnoServe helps this new generation of leaders access information, capital, and markets in order to create better employment opportunities -- for themselves and their communities.
Youth Economic Opportunity
Our Work in Youth Economic Opportunity
TechnoServe works with young people across the developing world to build self-confidence, obtain critical business skills, identify local market opportunities, and pursue meaningful livelihoods through entrepreneurship or employment. Despite improved education access for many young people over the past several decades, many youths still lack adequate technical and “soft” skills that are critical for obtaining or creating productive employment. This training is built into TechnoServe’s approach to youth economic development, combined with mentoring and assistance even after participants finish the program.
TechnoServe also helps scale up this impact by working with local educational institutions and other facilities to integrate proven training methods into their own curricula, enabling thousands more young people to access the tools of economic empowerment.
Featured Youth Economic Opportunity Projects
Creating job opportunities in South African mining communities
TechnoServe is collaborating with Anglo American on providing enterprise development training to youth in response to South Africa's national priority of reducing unemployment and poverty.
Supporting Young Entrepreneurs in South Africa (Box Shop Program)
This initiative offers a unique approach to supporting young entrepreneurs by creating several Box Shop stores in South African townships. This effort will support 240 young entrepreneurs to bring their products to store shelves and encourage more support for buying and building local brands.
Developing Agribusinesses and Empowering Youth in Cabo Delgado
Through Catalisa we work with agribusiness partners and smallholder farmers to increase their ability to earn a profit from poultry and horticulture.
Crece tu Empresa
Crece tu Empresa (CRECE) is an ongoing program since 2015 in Central America with the support of the Citi Foundation. The objective of the program is to support young entrepreneurs to promote the sustainable growth of their businesses, by helping them develop their skills and business competencies.
BeniBiz: Boosting Youth Agribusinesses for a More Food Secure Benin
BeniBiz is a business accelerator that aims to provide food and agribusiness entrepreneurs the skills they need to build prosperous businesses and economies, and food-secure communities.
Pan-African Youth Entrepreneur Development (PAYED)
The Pan-African Youth Entrepreneur Development (PAYED) program will provide training and tailored advisory support 600 young entrepreneurs in Kenya, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire to develop opportunities in the micro-retail sector.
Who Benefits from Youth Economic Opportunity?
Young people have experienced dramatic income improvements through proven training methods, with participants in an East Africa program nearly doubling their incomes, and youth in an employment training program in India gaining an average of almost $23 for every $1 of program cost. Young people in many programs also improve the following:
- Access to finance
- Professional connections
Local and international businesses
Young people with productive businesses can help stimulate economic growth as their enterprises supply or buy from other businesses.
Whether it’s corner shops buying from each other or international corporations integrating small enterprises into their supply chains, a healthy small business sector is the engine of local economies.
Most developing countries are grappling with the challenge of productively employing their next generation. In Africa, for instance, half the population is under the age of 20.
Helping young people find good jobs or create their own economic opportunities improves national economic productivity, social well-being, and political stability.
Featured Youth Economic Opportunity Blog Posts
Equipping Young Entrepreneurs with Business Expertise in Africa
Youth In Their Own Words: Farmer and Entrepreneur Mary Wacera
Tackling Youth Unemployment Through Entrepreneurship and Skills Training
Hope and Resilience During COVID-19: Part 2
Strengthening Youth-Owned Shops in Tanzania Through Better Business Skills
Turning Parent Objections Into Support to Promote Youth Employment
Creating Employment and Empowerment for Youth in Mumbai
The Youth Employability Program (YEP) equips youth in Mumbai with employability skills and connections to companies looking to hire young workers. This program is a partnership between TechnoServe and the Citi Foundation and J.P. Morgan.