Our 2017 to 2020 goal: Sustained, safe, dignified and fair work for 5,200 young people

Global challenge

Young people face large scale, complex challenges to finding productive work and employment. Around 600 million youth globally are unemployed and not in education or training. This figure is set to grow. Young people face huge barriers. They lack skills and experience, including soft skills essential to the workplace. They have difficultly accessing capital and credit, information and business networks.

Challenge in Tanzania

Tanzanian youth play a critical role in supplementing their household income. But this age group faces the highest levels of unemployment and almost 90% of those in work are in vulnerable and informal employment.

Raleigh Tanzania’s livelihoods programme focuses on young women and rural youth, who face particular difficulties in finding employment opportunities. Work in these areas is often low skilled, low waged and unstable. There is little access to land, markets, finance or education. Rural communities also depend heavily on natural resources and the environment which are increasingly exposed to climate-related shocks.

Project: Youth for Sustainable Livelihoods (Y4SL)

Like young people around the world, rural youth in Tanzania have dreams and ambitions for themselves, their families and their communities. However, there are few formal job opportunities for youth, and those that have successfully found employment are often vulnerable to low pay and poor working conditions. Youth growing up in Morogoro and Iringa have poorer access to land, markets, finance, education, healthcare, training and skills than their urban and peri-urban peers. Inadequate social services compound the situation for rural youth, making migration to Tanzania’s towns and cities in search of work a more attractive option for youth seeking a reliable income.

One growing route out of poverty and poor working conditions is through self-employment, micro-enterprises and entrepreneurship. With more than a million entrepreneurs in Tanzania, Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make up about 50% of the country’s GDP and are responsible for up to 40% of total employment. Investing in entrepreneurship and SMEs represents one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty and increase incomes. However, challenges facing SMEs include low capital and skill, poor infrastructure, limited access to reliable information and limited access to finance and technology.

Raleigh trains young volunteers as Youth Livelihoods Facilitators (YLFs) to utilise Raleigh’s proven entrepreneur curriculum to empower rural Tanzanian youth with the skills and knowledge to establish successful and sustainable small businesses. Experienced business people support youth as local mentors whilst youth-led formative research informs the design of community campaigns which improve perceptions of youth as vital contributors to a positive community environment in the long-term. Raleigh supports youth to obtain access to seed-capital to support the establishment of their fledgling enterprises.

Using the established Raleigh Entrepreneur curriculum, which utilises Business Model Canvas (BMC), youth entrepreneurs learn how their businesses can add value to their communities and the national economy. YLFs deliver personal effectiveness training to youth entrepreneurs, supporting them to develop the personal skills needed to maximise their potential and to promote innovation in their enterprises. Participants cover all aspects of financial planning, budgeting and accounting. They receive support in access micro-loans and credit from local micro-finance institutions (MFIs) and banks. Raleigh also offer seed-funding to entrepreneurs who present strong and evidenced business models at an official assessment panel event comprised of Raleigh and partner organisation staff.

Cumulatively, these activities support youth from rural communities in the Morogoro and Iringa regions to launch their own sustainable enterprises, helping to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Our livelihoods programme is currently implemented in partnership with the Tanzanian Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) a local NGO which employs professional foresters, biologists and community engagement specialists who deliver programmes which support the livelihoods of poor rural communities, through training green and sustainable enterprises. Long-established in the target communities and run by local people, TFCG work beyond the duration of our projects to ensure that ongoing support for community members is available if needed.

In the past two years alone over 1,800 young people have successfully completed the Raleigh Entrepreneur course with 812 accessing finance to establish their own enterprises. In September 2015, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) conducted an independent evaluation of the Raleigh Entrepreneurship programme in Tanzania, affirming the positive impact of our youth peer-to-peer approach in building sustainable rural youth enterprises.