Enterprise Development

Overview

Enterprise development programs help entrepreneurs to start and run profitable businesses through training, technical assistance, and inclusive market development activities. While the dynamism and innovation that entrepreneurs bring to an economy are one reason to implement activities in this area, the inability of the formal sector to produce enough jobs for the growing youth population makes self-employment an important option for youth as well.

Where We Are Now?

Similar to the general enterprise and market development field, youth enterprise development has moved from a focus solely on the enterprise itself to a more holistic approach. While providing training or technical assistance to an entrepreneur is still important, practitioners are complementing these types of assistance with activities to strengthen an enterprise’s overall ecosystem. For example, projects now include initiatives to strengthen entrepreneurs’ networks, so that they can gain business or mentoring assistance as necessary, or focus on strengthening the overall value chain specific to youth enterprises.

Trends and Best Practices:

  • Not all entrepreneurs are created equal. Many youth start businesses out of necessity and are unlikely to grow their business beyond the micro-stage. A smaller subset are more entrepreneurial minded and given the right set of circumstances, have a greater chance to develop a successful small enterprise. Practitioners and donors are distinguishing between these types of individuals and providing different types of support to each.
  • Successful young entrepreneurs capitalize on their passion and market opportunities. Successful programs recognize this and help develop opportunities in areas that are naturally interesting to youth, or work to educate youth that more traditional activities, such as agriculture, can be both inspiring and remunerative.
  • Successful capacity building initiatives help entrepreneurs obtain the information they need and have the skills to manipulate it for business success.
  • Entrepreneurs require the skills to both run a profitable business and a financially stable household.
  • USAID and other donors have begun incorporating youth inclusion activities to value chain projects in a more robust way. By integrating a “youth lens” in value chain assessments, implementers are able to identify constraints and opportunities specific to youth and beyond those that apply to value chain actors more broadly.

 

Enterprise Development: Blogs

Empowering Youth through Access to Finance

The Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) helps to bring financial skills and training to small and medium business owners, including youth, all over the world. As a membership-based organization, FAST’s members also seek to empower those businesses, including youth and future young leaders and entrepreneurs, in sustainable economic development by providing them with assistance, skills, and financial education.

ARTICLE: Recognising the economic contribution of women isn't feminism, it's fact

Despite the role that girls and women play in driving economic growth being widely acknowledged, it seems in practice, development programmes haven’t kept pace.

BLOG: Cities as Drivers of Economic Opportunity for Youth

According to the recently released United Nations report (“World Urbanization Prospects”), more than half of humanity now lives in cities. Today, 54% of the world’s population, 3.9 billion people, resides in urban areas, compared to only 30% back in 1950. The report predicts that cities will add an additional 2.5 billion people by 2050, with nearly 90% of this increase happening in Asia and Africa.

Activism in a New Digial Landscape

2013 was the first year in history that digital media overtook TV as the primary global channel for media consumption. In this presentation, Kaiya Waddell and Chase Mohney of Facebook discuss how the rapid proliferation of mobile technology has been the driver for this change in media, resulting in the need for corresponding changes in successful marketing and organizing. Theywalk through the major components of these changes, with a focus on how to think about content creation and tools for impactful activism.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

Value Chain Approach – Economic Opportunities to Youth in West Africa

This presentation was conducted under the Enterprise Development Session: Driving Success in Value Chains to Create Enterprise Development Opportunities through Agriculture. The session presented models for youth engagement in agricultural value chains by explaining why demand-driven entrepreneur-support programs with built-in market linkages is a promising approach for promoting youth-led start-up businesses in rural West Africa.

Development Paradigms for a Volatile World

This presentation was conducted under the Enterprise Development Session: Driving Success in Value Chains to Create Enterprise Development Opportunities through Agriculture. This session presented models for youth engagement in agricultural value chains by explaining why demand-driven entrepreneur-support programs with built-in market linkages is a promising approach for promoting youth-led start-up businesses in rural West Africa. Eduardo Tugendhat presented the "Peruvian Cocoa Alliance Approach" and discussed strategies for incubating and financing young farmers in Africa.

Resource Type: 
Presentation