Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship

At KIT Royal Tropical Institute, we create new incentives and opportunities for youth employment and entrepreneurship in rural economies. Our ambition is to use the potential of food and agriculture systems in developing countries for decent jobs along agricultural value chains.

Young adults face significant economic and social challenges as their share of the global population continues to grow. In many parts of the world youth unemployment is rampant. Young people live in adverse conditions excluded from education, health care, and economic and social opportunities. In addition, the lack of prospects for a better future is driving high levels of migration by young people. This is occurring nationally from rural to urban areas, and internationally, from developing countries to Europe or North America, as well as between developing countries.

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Our Approach and Expertise

One way KIT is addressing the myriad issues above is through collaborations with international development organisations, foundations, NGOs and donor agencies. These partnerships aim to improve young people’s access to employment and entrepreneurship in agriculture and related enterprises. We do so by increasing the skill-sets of youth. We also strengthen the links between training and labour market needs and develop strategies for the business case of youth inclusion.

At the same time, we also work to address barriers that commonly prevent young people from entering into income-earning activities. These include areas such as access to finance, land and other assets. In our experience it is crucial to support youth in a holistic manner. This means complementing the development of soft skills (like entrepreneurship and financial literacy) with other enablers such as financial services and mentoring opportunities.

In supporting youth inclusion and empowerment, we take into account the large heterogeneity among youth in terms of gender, ethnicity, class and other social identities. We develop youth-specific approaches that are sensitive to the intersecting and often conflicting dynamics of these different identities. This way our multi-disciplinary team uses a bottom-up approach. It begins with the characteristics, aspirations, needs, and challenges of youth themselves and includes the ecosystems lived in by youth.

We understand that promoting youth employment and entrepreneurship requires the alignment and collaboration of a variety of actors. At KIT, we facilitate these processes to ensure that knowledge sharing, learning and co-innovation take place through action learning processes.

By supporting rural employment and entrepreneurial opportunities we aim to make a small contribution in three ways:

1) promoting decent work for young people

2) reducing the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

3) achieving equal pay for work of equal value

Froukje Kruijssen, Senior Advisor, KIT

Our services

Action research and diagnostic studies

With market and needs assessments we can understand youth’, aspirations, needs and challenges, and how this connects to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Youth-centred strategy and programme design

We co-develop approaches for youth inclusion and (self-)employment.

Education, training and coaching

There is probably no better contribution towards sustainable development than investing in people and building capacities at all levels. KIT Royal Tropical Institute plays a major role in this by offering a range of education and capacity building services, from formal education at masters level to client-oriented training and coaching support. Our training and coaching programmes are tailor-made to address the unique objectives and capacities of the requesting organisation.

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Monitoring, Evaluation & Impact Assessment

Monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment are powerful tools to assess health, social, and economic impact. They allow us to learn what works and why. Our expertise and track record in these areas make us well-equipped to evaluate your work. 

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Our experts