The power of entrepreneurship
There are two things you need to know about the world’s global youth.
Firstly, more than half of the world’s population of nearly 7.5 billion are under the age of 30. They are the biggest youth generation ever.
Secondly, they often face huge barriers in finding productive work and employment.
Raleigh International is helping more young people find sustained, safe, dignified and fair work. One of the ways we do this is through entrepreneurship.
For many young people, self-employment and micro-enterprise offers a route out of poverty and poor working conditions.
We focus on giving young people the confidence, skills, and knowledge to make their enterprises a success and generate reliable and sustainable incomes.
The Global Goals
Training young people to establish viable and sustainable businesses helps to contribute towards the UN’s sustainable development goals (Global Goals).
Tanzania: Gift in name and nature
Gift is aptly named. Her mobile banking business in Mbwewe, Tanzania helps to provide the local community with the opportunity to get cash and transfer money.
Before, community members had to travel into the next town to do this. Having Gift and her business in the village means it saves them time and money – it is only one-third of the cost for them.
Gift graduated from the Raleigh ICS livelihoods programme – a 10-week course where young volunteers from the UK and Tanzania work with rural youth who have aspirations of setting up and developing their own small enterprises.
But Gift was keen to expand her business even further.
“I was running the business, but I didn’t know how to expand or make use of possible opportunities,” she said.
Raleigh volunteers helped her to do that, too. In the summer of 2017, a group of 24 volunteers from Google travelled to Tanzania to help young entrepreneurs build their skills and improve their businesses through two weeks of intensive expert training. Gift was one of them.
“The Google volunteers helped me with the market research, marketing methods and spotting opportunities in how to expand the business,” she said.
“Further they helped me to tackle current issues in the business. I will now start selling phones and expanding the business into other networks to overcome possible threats.
Feeling empowered, Gift sees a bright future ahead for herself.
“Today my thinking is expanded. I know how to increase my customer base and improve my profit.
“In five or ten years I will be a big entrepreneur managing five different mobile businesses, being able to handle much higher amounts of cash and transactions.”
Working together with Google
Driven by Raleigh alumni and Google staff Rick van Woudenbergh and Adam Nosalek, this is the fourth year of the partnership.
Volunteers from Google have helped many young entrepreneurs build on their business established through Raleigh.
Nicaragua: a different type of crop
“There is nothing better than working in your own business,” said Francisco.
He swapped his agricultural tools for clippers and scissors when he set up a hairdressing business from his home in the village of San Jose, Nicaragua.
Francisco received seed funding from Raleigh to launch his business back in 2016 which he used to get the essentials such as clippers, scissors, a barber’s chair and mirror.
Raleigh volunteers were also there to help him along the way, providing useful advice and workshops on business finance.
“I now understand how to account for all of the incomings and outgoings of the business more accurately, and have a better understanding of where the possibilities lie for growing my business,” Francisco said.
Since then, the business has continued to grow. Francisco works in agriculture during the morning but dedicates the afternoons to cutting hair. Doing this has provided a greater source of income for him and his family – he and his girlfriend have a small child called Angel.
He’s now so successful that barbershops in neighbouring towns have tried to recruit him. But he prefers to be his own boss.
In fact, Francisco is planning to open his own barbershop in the municipality of Totogalpa at the end of November 2017 – just in time for the graduation and Christmas parties.
young people trained in entrepreneurship
young people set up new enterprises
mentors providing support to young entrepreneurs
Borneo: green business in the jungle
A bullfrog farm, rainforest internet café and organic free-range chickens are just some of the businesses young entrepreneurs are busy setting up in the Telupid Forest Complex of Malaysian Borneo.
For generations, indigenous communities have worked in harmony with the environment they live in. But as young people leave their communities to find work in the cities, the rainforest, already suffering the effects of deforestation, palm oil production and poaching, is losing its future protectors.
As part of Raleigh’s ‘Sustainable Alternative Livelihoods for Youth in Borneo’ (SALY-B) project, funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), young people are being trained in both modern conservation techniques and entrepreneurship to give them the option to stay.
By establishing these ‘green’ enterprises instead, indigenous young people have the opportunity to start their own businesses that complement the natural environment and communities they live in.
The organic chicken business belongs to Suzika. She noticed people from her community travel a long way to buy eggs. Setting up her own chicken farm would help to meet that need closer to home. It would also help to reduce their carbon footprint.
She also planned to feed her chickens only organic food and sell their waste as a fertiliser.
Funding provided by the United States Government
This project was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.
“If I imagine being put in their shoes, it’s amazing what they’re doing. It inspires me to push myself more and jump into new situations with the right frame of mind.”
– Aurelia, volunteer facilitator
Nepal: profitable caulifower
Within 60 days of planting cauliflower seeds, Rajan had 50 sacks full of his crop to take to market. He sold them all, bringing in 175,000 Nepalese rupees – that’s about £1,283.
Like many people in rural Nepal, Rajan had farmed vegetables for many years – but usually only had enough for himself and his family.
Raleigh volunteers have been helping rural community members like Rajan acquire the knowledge and business skills they need to make vegetable farming profitable.
They also receive an initial investment of seeds for their land to kick them off. Rajan opted for cauliflower seeds, and was given enough for his whole plot of land, costing the equivalent of £26.
Farming is still hard work – but at least it now pays off for Rajan as he and his family enjoy a sustainable income.
UK: taking inspiration from nature
Young people are at the heart of what Raleigh does. They are the ones delivering what we do and driving long-lasting change.
As such, these young people who volunteer with Raleigh to support others, often go through their own transformative journey, too.
Just like Jennifer, who volunteered with Raleigh ICS in Tanzania.
Every ICS participant completes an action at home project, using their volunteering experience to launch a project that brings about positive social change.
“I remember from playing and working with the school children that they loved looking at the jewellery that I was wearing and I wanted to incorporate their story into my project back home,” Jennifer said.
“From the sand I brought back from the village I was based in, I started to make beads by mixing the sand with glue and moulding them. I then used these beads to make necklaces and bracelets, which I then sold and donated the profits back to Raleigh.
Jennifer has now transformed this into a small business called Sea Beads, based in Dublin. She uses the same idea of moulding sand from local beaches into beads.
“Without my Raleigh ICS experience I never would have had the inspiration or confidence to come up with the idea and start my own business.
“Even though Sea Beads is still in its infancy, I wanted to give something back to Raleigh and the country I worked in, therefore 10% of my sales profits will be donated to support Raleigh’s Tanzania schools, water, sanitation and hygiene projects.”