Liberia is no exception when dealing with poverty and Youth unemployment, especially youth unemployment. This remains the crisis of our time. Creating gainful employment for young people is vital for peace, security, and economic transformation of the state.
Be The Change Academy is a Youth-Led Job and Enterprise Creation program. BTCA provides step-by-step support to guide young people through the process of identifying a possible business opportunity, undertaking market research, developing a budget and business financing plan, and to launch their own business. The approach ensures that training is integrated through every step and ensures that participants gain the vital business skills they need.
The model approach additionally is a facilitative step-by-step approach, designed to support young people to analyze their environment, local markets and develop their existing businesses or launch a new one. The facilitative approach means that the process guides participants to take decisions themselves, not for the project to dictate what to do and what not to do.
Innovative, Engaging and Effective
The BTCA methodology is focused at the most vulnerable and marginalized young people in each context in which it is used.
One of the basic premises of this is that the most vulnerable and marginalized people are often the uneducated, sometimes uninformed/unaware and for the most illiterate. This methodology accounts for this lack of education by using non-traditional image based training tools and techniques specifically designed to increase understanding and stimulate understanding of its target group.
The BTCA does not promote subsidies to businesses and is designed to be a one-time training course. It rather empowers entrepreneurs to grow their businesses naturally, based on their environments, local markets and the opportunities these present to an entrepreneur. However, it potentially explore avenues for lending/borrowing by the entrepreneurs.
Additionally, it maintains added value with its attention to impacting disadvantaged, marginalized and underprivileged young people becoming potentially emerging entrepreneurs is embedded in the below approaches:
- Highly adapted to the needs of vulnerable young people: The BTCA uses innovative image-based training tools and games, proven to increase understanding and build business skills for those with limited literacy skills.
- Low risk capital through savings and loans groups: Saving and loans group are a common way that people save and provide a lower risk way for young entrepreneurs to access capital.
- Connections to local business support and services: Young people are connected to different local service providers that can support them to grow their businesses, now and in the future.
- Long-term peer-to-peer support through entrepreneur networks: Young entrepreneurs provide continued advice, support and mentorship to each other through our entrepreneur networks, long after the BTCA has finished.