Rural Youth Empowerment

SAPP will provide targeted support to rural youth, in order to become entrepreneurs, and responding to the demand for services generated along the value chain and in complement to the 4Ps. An initial 2,500 youth will be supported with start-up financing for their business plans, averaging USD 2000 in the form of start-up funds (matching grant) and credit. A basic training curriculum for youth business plan preparation has already been tested under NADeP, and will be refined by SAP, though the business plan training is only the first step in capacity building support for youth and is linked to their ability to apply for the special youth credit (see Component 2). Identification of the youth, and their mobilisation will be a joint responsibility between social mobilisers, private sector partners and community leaders (involved in 4Ps), vis-à-vis the principle that youth businesses would be responsive to the service or product needs around the 4P schemes.

A youth strategy will be commissioned as a first starting point to better understand diversity amongst the rural youth, and subsequently their challenges, aspirations, critical needs and the opportunities where SAP can intervene in supporting the youth. This strategy will draw from the consultations with youth in rural communities, the experience and sensitization activities undertaken by the social mobilisers, and via the dialogue with private sector companies.

In order to more effectively draw out the demand for products/ services around the 4P, SAPP will through its consultation and sensitization activities, encourage the private sector companies to identify the critical product or services gaps along the value chain, and/ or the gaps in human resources capacities. These gaps will be communicated to the youth, to establish their interest and commitment to engage in these particular activities. Social mobilisers, by virtue of their close community-level knowledge and training in the SAP principles and approaches, will communicate SAP’s open call for interest for youth to take part in the initiative. To facilitate youth in stepping forward, social mobilisers will provide support to the youth with some initial and basic training on how to develop basic business plans and will work with those youth with potential to finalize their business plans; the social mobilisers will also have the role of connecting the youth to PFIs, who will ultimately appraise the business plan and decide on whether to approve the loan.

Once the youth business plan and credit has been approved, the support to youth will also be complemented by capacity building support. A range of topics such as financial literacy, know-your-numbers, and managerial training will be offered, and youth with approved business plans can choose

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