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

Pushing the Limits: Lessons from CARE on Market Systems Approaches, Food Security, and Resilience

Grounded in an overview of CARE’s approach to resilience, this session featured evidence and lessons learned from some of CARE’s most successful market engagement initiatives.

Why Measuring Child-Level Impacts Can Achieve Lasting Economic Change

More than 600 million children in developing countries live on less than US$1 a day. Children are deeply affected by poverty, and some effects of poverty, particularly in early childhood, have life-long consequences. The fight for long-term poverty alleviation must account for children’s wellbeing in order to sustainably reduce individuals’ and communities’ vulnerability to the persistent effects of poverty.

Baseline Report: Assessment of Competencies, Technical Skills and Needs in Bosnia Herzegovina's ICT Services Sector

Key challenges facing youth include difficulties in obtaining adequate training and practical experience, as well as obtaining jobs and short-­term employment opportunities. Youth also face challenges when launching startups, often lacking technical or business mentorship assistance as well as access to sources of finance. This is particularly the case in the early stages of business development due to underdeveloped investor culture in BiH and the perceived high risks involved with early ventures.

Resource Type: 
Report

Webinar: Building the Case for Youth Services CYFI - UNCDF - 20/03/2014

Together with Ms. María Perdomo, Youth Start Programme Manager for UNCDF, and Mr. Jules Théoneste Ndahayo from UCU, CYFI reviews UNCDF’s latest publication: “Building the business case for youth services: Insights of the YouthStart Programme." This paper aims to take the first steps in demonstrating that youth are a viable market and focuses on the business case for serving youth if FSPs follow three pathways to profitability of youth services: i)Optimizing expenses; ii) Increasing savings volume; and iii) Increasing return from youth.

Resource Type: 
Video/Audio

Guide to Youth Entrepreneurship Programs for Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations

Sustainable economic growth requires entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs create new jobs, contribute to economic expansion, and become stakeholders in supporting a healthy business environment. As communities across the world struggle to meet employment demands, the importance of fostering a next generation of entrepreneurs – both job creators and entrepreneurial employees – is particularly salient.

Resource Type: 
Toolkit