Chopped by Benard Ogembo

Transforming Youth Innovation, Entrepreneurship in Africa.

#Innovate4Solutions #Chops #Chop4SDGs #YoungEntrepreneurs
SDG 8 SDG 9 SDG 17

Young people represent the fastest growing demographic in Africa. Many are already economically active some motivated by necessity to help their families.

In major cities like Nairobi and Dakar, young entrepreneurs have demonstrated resourcefulness and inventiveness with a range of enterprises. Given access to the right opportunities, skills, mentors, social networks, technology, and finance, they have enormous potential to be a driving force for economic growth and social progress.

Globally, youth unemployment is one of today’s big challenges. The World Bank estimates we need 600 million new jobs in the next 10 years just to keep global employment rates constant and according to the International Labor Organization, 73.3 million of the world’s unemployed are young people. Equivelent to about 36 percent.

Youth entrepreneurship offers innovative solutions for economic growth among young people. There is need for a better strategy to best support sustainable youth entrepreneurship considering it can be a powerful tool to help fight youth unemployment.

Sarah Munyi, Chairperson, Global Business Roundtable, Future Leader Kenya rallies the young people to engage in solution oriented dialogues that are accompanied by actions.

For this to happen, we need to create a dynamic ecosystem of actors and resources that incubate businesses, facilitate access to capital and business development services, and provide assistance in the form of mentorship and peer-to-peer support. According to Paseka Lesolang, Youth, Innovation, Jobs and Industrialisation Coordinator at Global Water Partnership -Africa, “There is needs for creative funding models to help Africans’ big ideas on adaptation to take off.”

Several studies underscore lack of finance is the primary obstacle and seed-funding streams for proof-of-concept and early stage project development are the life force of innovative activity in Africa. Equally, creative funding models in the later stages of the project life cycle, such as social impact bonds, are equally important, specifically when it comes to projects focusing on the rectifying the unequal resource allocation endemic to Africa, as these are not as attractive to private financiers.

Lastly, young entrepreneurs need mentorship, and not only on an advisory basis. The most effective mentorship relationships are those where a transfer of specific skills takes place on an ongoing basis. African innovators require access to dedicated office spaces and smart technology facilities. These resources enhance morale, focus and most importantly, productivity.

Chopped by

Benard Ogembo

no comments