The future entrepreneurs of Tanzania: Youth, Energy, Change

29th August 2018

Raleigh Tanzania celebrate the young people enhancing each other's skills and support each other's businesses. Our collaborative team of Googlers and Raleigh Tanzania Alumni have done precisely that with a group of exciting young entrepreneurs in rural Tanzania.

Tanzania’s total population stands at approximately 55.7m and of that figure, youth make up around 31%. 

Young people are natural innovators, driving change and transformation in commercial, civil and cultural domains.

“Youth are the future, they have energy and they accept new ideas.” Ahmed Mustafa, Google employee

However, limited knowledge on how to grow their enterprises, interrupted access to networks and technology often mean that the energy and creativity of Tanzania’s youth is not being realised.

Google employee Robert (centre) with five young entrepreneurs in Kisanga

53.3% of the total number of people unemployed in Tanzania are young people (National Bureau of Statistics)

Job creation and informal employment are major challenges for Tanzanian youth. This problem is especially pronounced for youth in rural areas as geographical remoteness adds to their marginalisation.

Raleigh want to acknowledge the exciting work of volunteers in the rural village of Kisanga who collaborated with 12 youth entrepreneurs who completed our Youth for Sustainable Livelihoods project in 2017. Through the Livelihoods Programme, Raleigh develop youth skills and self-confidence, grow family and community support, increase access to financial capital, and build the critical coping strategies that help young people to secure a reliable income. For six days, 14 volunteers will be using the business canvas model (BMC) approach to provide the young entrepreneurs with essential follow-up support for their fledgling enterprises which include a hair-dressing Salon, a welding business and a sustainable charcoal business amongst others.

The volunteer team is made up of six international Google employees, six Raleigh Livelihoods Programme alumni and two Project Managers. This is a Skills Based Volunteer (SBV) programme which aims to utilise the skills, innovation and enthusiasm of these young Googlers with vital support from our alumni to empower these entrepreneurs in Kisanga to maximise their business. At the same time we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the barriers youth face in growing their businesses in order to develop our entrepreneurship programme even further.

“It’s really good to know that you have someone here with local knowledge, that you can rely on and who can help you to facilitate the contact between the local communities and yourself or the skill that you could bring to the table to potentially help someone.” Robert Lehmann, Google Employee

The Googlers will be working on a one to one basis with the 12 entrepreneurs to develop the skills they have acquired and to facilitate problem-led design and innovation. Their specific approach to problem-solving is desirable to consider the best impact for each entrepreneur’s business. Whilst offering a wealth of benefits to the Raleigh programme, the Googlers have the opportunity to participate in this exciting sustainable development project which empowers Tanzanian youth to shape their own futures.

Group shot of volunteers in Kisanga: Google employees and Raleigh Alumni
Our Skills Based Volunteering team made up of Raleigh Tanzania Alumni and Google employees

Google volunteers are also ideally suited to deliver digital skills training to urban youth. This is why next week, following the completion of the placement in the rural village of Kisanga, the Googlers will return to Morogoro where they will deliver the Google Digital Skills for Africa curriculum to 12 urban youth comprised of entrepreneurs, university students and members of the Raleigh Tanzania Society (RTS).

The broader aim of this collaboration is to contribute to the achievement of Global Goal for Sustainable Development 4.4:

• By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.

Googlers Alison and Laura onlooking on energiser game with entrepreneurs after taking part themselves
Googlers and Raleigh alumni getting to know the young entrepreneurs on day one of the project

In the past three years alone 1,924 young people have successfully completed the Raleigh entrepreneur course in Tanzania. 812 of them have set up enterprises with seed funding direct from Raleigh. We want to continue to build on this and empower as many young people as we can to be self-sufficient.

YOUTH – ENERGY – CHANGE

 

Words by Communications Officer Lou McGowan

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