South Africa Youth Entrepreneurship Programme

South Africa Youth Entrepreneurship Programme


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. The Credit Suisse-funded Youth Entrepreneurship Project is a multi-faceted and multi-partner Project. It works in collaboration with local business partners who are already active and established in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector.  These partners provide the YEP with either donated or discounted ‘goods’. The YEP then provide these to the young people to sell at a profit, in order to build up their start-up capital.

The YEP also identify and work with media partners (radio stations & newspapers) who assist in expanding outreach of business information to the wider communities.

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, Swisscontact initiated this Project in October 2011, with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship in selected townships of South Africa’s Western Cape and Gauteng provinces.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Programme goal is to initially create 360 young entrepreneurs by helping them first to establish their own FMCG sales and distribution businesses. During the following nine months of mentorship, they are empowered and encouraged to develop and save up for their own business ventures.

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