Our project aims to improve self-employment for 360 youth entrepreneurs and create dignified wage employment for over a thousand youth. We work in a consortium with a well-established local private partner, ForthInvestment. Together we will help youth enterprises grow and create employment for youth. We will select businesses from our database and build on the ‘Job Booster Enterprise’ programme. With a gender transformative approach, we will tackle practical barriers and challenge strategic issues, while targeting 50% women.
In Burkina Faso, job opportunities for youth, who make up 70% of the population, are scarce. This phenomenon of low job demand and a mismatch of skills gives rise to large unemployment figures.
Furthermore, creating an enduring enterprise is challenging with over 92% of registered companies not lasting beyond 5 years.
Within this challenging context, coupled with high levels of poverty, political instability, climate change, young people struggle to earn a living income. The challenge is to create realistic prospects while also increasing a sense of independence and autonomy over their professional working life.
Over the last four years, we enabled over 18.050 youth to find decent employment or create their own small enterprise. We propose to select the most promising youth entrepreneurs and support their enterprises in formalization and growth, so they can employ other youth. We will specifically focus on the sectors of agriculture, food, renewable energy and waste management, as we see them as promising and relevant in the context of food insecurity and climate change.
Our target group includes both youth entrepreneurs with growing enterprises, as well as unemployed youth. We will provide tailor-made training, coaching, technical assistance, and access to finance and to business associations for connection and advocacy. To ensure the successful employment of female youth, we will explicitly select women-led enterprises to work with. We will develop a gender strategy to address barriers for young women.
Our theory of change involves three pathways towards improved and new employment for youth:
- Support youth enterprises towards the next business stage through access to finance.
- Job creation in growing enterprises is supported by job brokering.
- Youth enterprises are strengthened and linked in the system.
By focusing on these three focal points, we will match, create and improve jobs that have a significant impact on society.
It is likely that with CFYE support, the project will be better designed, proceed more quickly, or reach more young people than it otherwise would have.