Job creation and income generation are the preeminent issues among Nigerian youth. The fact that Africa is the world’s youngest continent creates significant long-term opportunities, however realizing these opportunities requires that the productivity levels of young people increase significantly and that the youth bulge is more of a dividend than a disaster.
Entrepreneurship is one of the most effective solutions to the problem of unemployment in Nigeria; it directly and positively addresses the youth bulge. YTF believes that the solution to poverty is an evolving and expanding economy. Central to any economy are micro/small scale enterprises, and crucial to success in business is education. In Nigeria for instance, over 10 million school age youth are out-of school, the largest in Africa. High drop-out rates and subsequent lack of educational skills, leads to economic instability due to decreasing entrepreneurial growth, higher unemployment and growing dependence and / or deprivation.
The concept of Project 3E is reflected in the efforts of Joel Mwale, a 20-year old Kenyan recipient of the Anzisha prize for his rainwater filtration and bottling company, SkyDrop, created following a dysentery outbreak in his community. Joel later sold SkyDrop for $500,000 to Gigavia.com.
YTF knows there are many more “Joel’s” living in communities in developing countries. Project 3E is YTF’s “triple bottom line” entrepreneurship training program for youth. Project 3E will afford an opportunity for youth social entrepreneurs to take their work to national and even global stage by engaging the ambitions, creativity and entrepreneurial potential to build sustainable communities.
Project 3E will find young social entrepreneurs who have the most potential to have an impact, work with them intensively to develop their projects and ensure that their ideas are implemented as effectively and efficiently as possible. YTF launched Project 3E in June 2014.
For this phase of the project, we are selecting Nigerian youth social entrepreneurs only. In future phases of the project, we will expand to other countries where YTF has a presence.