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

Kenya, U.S. Can Help Youth Get Jobs

Originally posted by The Rockefeller Foundation on July 25, 2015

When the African youth population doubles to 400 million, there will be more young people entering the workforce than there are jobs waiting for them.

In Kenya, up to 80% of their 2.5 million youth are unemployed, while youth unemployment in the U.S. is three times the jobless rate.

#YouthEO Twitter Chat: Scale in Practice

There are over 1.1 billion young people in the world who need to be able to find good jobs, start and grow businesses, gain access to appropriate financial services and overall, participate in the global economy.But how can development practitioners and private and public sector actors meet the growing demand for youth economic opportunity? 

July E-Bulletin: Smart Investments to Expand Youth Economic Opportunity

Making Cents International offers this newsletter for the donors, policy makers, corporations, researchers, implementers and youth leaders increasing the scale, sustainability and effectiveness of youth economic inclusion programming. 

Youth Entrepreneurship in Europe: Values, Attitudes, Policies

The level of youth unemployment remains very high in several EU Member States, and there is increased awareness of the economic and social consequences associated with long‑term disengagement from the labour market. In light of the high potential of entrepreneurs to create employment and sustainable growth, promoting youth entrepreneurship and making Europe more entrepreneur‑friendly has recently become a priority on the EU policy agenda.

Resource Type: 
Report

Youth at Work: Building Economic Opportunities for Young People in Africa

Generating viable employment for young people remains a serious global problem. This situation is particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa, where some 600 million people are currently under the age of 25. Many still do not have access to quality and reliable economic opportunities, either through self- or formal employment. The economic and social costs of this challenge are too high. It is time for the global youth jobs movement to take its work to a new level—a level that will create new economic opportunity for millions of young people.

Resource Type: 
Report