Suresha from the Cargill Agri-Fellows program in India with his newly purchased cow

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.

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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

Who Benefits

Local youth

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 their savings, assets, access to finance, and 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.

National 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.

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.