ODI and Raleigh celebrate youth entrepreneurship

16th November 2015

“What is the recipe for a successful youth entrepreneurship programme?” That was the question on everybody’s lips last week as development experts, academics, business leaders and young people gathered at a special event at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

The event, titled ‘Building pathways for youth entrepreneurship’, also marked the launch of ODI’s recent study of Raleigh’s ICS Entrepreneur programmes in Nicaragua and Tanzania.

An energetic and insightful discussion was led by Claudia Pompa, Research Consultant at ODI; Tim Campbell, the first winner of the Apprentice and founder of Bright Ideas Trust; and Denis Pavon, Raleigh’s former ICS Entrepreneur Project Manager in Nicaragua. The event was chaired by Guardian journalist Oliver Balch.


According to the report, teaming up youth entrepreneurs with young volunteers can be an effective method of combatting unemployment in rural areas. The research found that through working with volunteers aged 18-25 from around the world, young entrepreneurs in developing countries were exposed to different ways of thinking and exchanging information which helped their businesses to succeed.

As part of the Raleigh International ICS Entrepreneur programme, young entrepreneurs from some of Nicaragua and Tanzania’s hardest to reach communities are receiving focused support from volunteers over a six month period to develop, implement and sustain a successful business. Through supporting young people to set up micro-enterprises such as bakeries, milk production or gymnasiums, Raleigh is aiming to address the World Bank’s claim that 600 million jobs need to be created in the next decade.

According to the report, the development of ‘business and life skills’ was crucial to the young entrepreneurs’ success. Gains in confidence, self-esteem, and around communicating in public were all extensively reported by entrepreneurs as a result of working with volunteers from the UK, Nicaragua and Tanzania.

“Working with the volunteers was really useful. They have a different way of doing things and we learned from that. Punctuality, preparation, how to do a business plan, how to do market research…we learned so many things,” said one male entrepreneur from Tanzania.

Watch the discussion here:

You can now read the full report, ‘Building pathways for youth entrepreneurship’.

Are you interested in continuing the conversation about youth entrepreneurship? Raleigh International would love to hear from you. Get in touch with us at info@raleighinternational.org

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