Entrepreneurship and Life Skills Project

Involved alumni:

The challenge that the project addresses

The youth in Zimbabwe have been greatly affected by unemployment and skills deficit due to the declining economy characterised by lack of opportunities. This has left them exposed to vices such as prostitution, drug abuse and most of them have retreated to the hidden economy as a coping mechanism. The COVID 19 pandemic, with its associated lockdown and slow-down in economic activities has adversely affected most of the youth-led initiatives which are largely informal in nature. With limited skills, youths have not been able to adequately respond to the new challenges brought about by the pandemic which require business formalisation in addition to properly documented skills which enable one to participate in the mainstream economy.

What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?

We have been undertaking entrepreneurship skills training, enterprise development initiatives as well as apprenticeship training through partnerships with local workshops in trades including motor-mechanics, welding and metalwork as well as carpentry.

Describe the project's impact

The primary impact of the project has been creation of employment for 65 youths (31 males and 33 females). Income generating activities which include peanut butter making, accessory retailing, grocery retailing, car-wash and pest-control as well as poultry were created. Ten of the business were registered as private business corporations to enable the youths to operate formally. Start-up kits were also acquired to enable the businesses to operate and underwrite significant business contracts. The activities also had a secondary impact in terms of stimulating local markets through backward and forward linkages.

If we get the Change Maker Award

*At least 50 jobs to be created

* At least 20 youths to be trained in entrepreneurship.

*Training kits to be acquired for 3 local workshops.

*At least 20 youths to be trained in gender and environmental protection