Developing Unemployed Youth into Proud and Competent Entrepreneurs

The Swisscontact Youth Entrepreneurship Project is dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and creating real
opportunities for income generation among youth in selected townships in South Africa.

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The shocking truth is that South Africa’s estimated 40+% youth unemployment rate is among the highest in the world. This is further compounded by a 16% decline in entrepreneurial skills among 18 – 34 year olds.

(2010 to 2011, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor; South Africa).

These young people are beginning their adult lives in poverty, with limited skills, very few opportunities to access formal employment and no foreseeable way to make a decent living.

In answer to this dilemma, the YEP Project in October 2011, with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship in selected townships of South Africa’s Western Cape. Currently we only operate in Mbekweni, Paarl but we’d like to see more centres started in the near future as we are able to expand.

Youth Entrepreneurship Project Youth Entrepreneurship Project

Our activities include research, training and mentoring to prepare these young people for the business world. By equipping them with the character traits, life skills, basic business skills and continued mentoring, we aim to see them start and maintain their own successful small businesses. We do realise that all our student will become entrepreneurs and we also make that clear to them, but nevertheless, YEP is a fantastic start for every young person in helping them understanding themselves, other and the big world of business out there. 

The Project also provides wonderful opportunities for local businesses to offer internships to these enthusiastic, newly trained young people. Here, they can put in into practice what they have learned and gain some work experience. We would also hope that some will prove to be indispensible and so find permanent employment.