TechnoServe and the Citi Foundation partner to develop youth entrepreneurship skills and create jobs

Through the programme, youth in the townships of Durban, Cape Town, and Gauteng have an opportunity to learn valuable entrepreneurial skills. Picture: Supplied

Through the programme, youth in the townships of Durban, Cape Town, and Gauteng have an opportunity to learn valuable entrepreneurial skills. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 1, 2022


South Africa is fortunate to have a youthful nation. However, the recent unemployment statistics pertaining to young people are cause for concern. The 2020 fourth quarter Labour Force Survey found that about 8,6 million young people aged between 15 and 34 years are not in education and not in employment.

The Citi Foundation, in partnership with TechnoServe, has invested over R14 million into a four-year programme designed to assist young men and women to gain economic independence.

Young people in the townships of Durban, Cape Town and Gauteng, can take advantage of the Youth Ideas Development Programme, which provides a comprehensive package of services, including accredited skills training, mentoring, entrepreneurship training, and business development.

The programme aims to equip 270 youth with the skills and knowledge to capitalize on economic opportunities and increase their incomes.

The high unemployment rate in South Africa has consistently remained one of the most pressing socio-economic issues, and it requires urgent and coordinated efforts if it is to be addressed.

The most prevalent pitfalls faced by young job seekers are the lack of education, skills, and the necessary experience required by employers in the labour market.

Guided by the national policy and strategy documents, South African Government’s industry plan and sector performance reports, the Youth Ideas Development team developed a streamlined and holistic approach to developing an impactful intervention aimed at the youth of South Africa.

To date, the YID Programme has completed three youth development programmes, and one is currently under way. Plans are under way to complete a fifth and final programme in 2023, which will consolidate the last four cohorts into an alumni network. The programmes in the last three years are as follows:

Youth Ideas Development Programme (2018 – 2019), focused on commercial and social entrepreneurship ideas development with an aim to build a culture of creative and innovative thinking.

The Youth Ideas Development-Technology (2019 – 2020), focused on empowering youth with knowledge and skills in the electronics maintenance and assembly sector falling under Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The latest programme is the Youth Ideas Development-Textiles program which has been running since 2021 and will continue until the end of 2022.

The programme focuses on empowering youth with knowledge and skills in the fashion and textiles sector. The program collaborates with the Fibre Processing & Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority (FP&M SETA) to identify and select an accredited skills program/short course linked to the Manufacture of textiles, clothing, leather goods, and other textiles.

Through the programme, young people learn about opportunities and will gain market-ready skills to benefit from the demand in the market.

After two months of recruitment, participants in the programme take part in a four-month training programme to develop technical skills, entrepreneurship, and career skills.

They then receive an additional six months of mentorship and after-care from industry-specific experts.

The youth who participate in the programme have the opportunity to participate in a program-sponsored business model competition, the winners of which receive business seed funding. The runner-ups will gain practical work exposure through an experiential learning internship placement.

The programme confirmed its first 60 participants in March and the next round of applications will open in September 2022.

Interested participants can get more information here.

IOL Business