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

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.

The Key to Growth & Progress in Latin America: Young Entrepreneurs

Back in the 90’s, a vast majority of parents and guardians in Latin America would look down on their children if they decided to opt to become an entrepreneur instead of pursuing a career or enrolling in a University. They would think that their children had a lack of motivation for studying or they were simply not smart enough or too lazy to complete a degree.

Youth Think Tank Report: Engaging Young People

Increasingly, non-governmental, multilateral and bilateral organizations, and the private sector are seeking more meaningful ways to engage young people in dialogue about decision-making, program design, evaluation and policy-making.

Resource Type: 
Report

Understanding the Workforce Development Technology Skills Training Landscape

In our rapidly changing, hyper-connected world, the information and communication technology (ICT) industry is driving economic growth, innovation, and job creation. More than 50 percent of today’s jobs require some degree of technology skills, and experts say that percentage will increase to 77 percent in the next decade.

Resource Type: 
Toolkit

Understanding the Workforce Development Technology Skills Training Landscape

Microsoft and Making Cents collaborated to offer this framework to support development of a common language and greater understanding of the unique role that each stakeholder can play in the youth workforce development field. Our hope is that they will contribute to greater cooperation, joint projects and increased youth economic opportunities created by information and communication technologies.

Resource Type: 
Toolkit