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 utilize 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 and young people live in adverse conditions, excluded from education, health care, and economic and social opportunities. The lack of prospects for a better future is driving high levels of migration by young people, both nationally from rural to urban areas, and internationally, not only from developing countries to Europe or North America, but also between developing countries.

Our Approach and Expertise

KIT collaborates with international development organisations, foundations, NGOs and donor agencies 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, strengthening the links between training and labour market needs and developing 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, such as access to finance, land and other assets. In our experience it is crucial to support youth in a holistic manner, complementing the development of soft skills (such as entrepreneurship and financial literacy) with other enablers such as financial services and mentorship 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 social, cultural and economic identities. In this way, our multi-disciplinary team of experts utilizes a bottom-up approach that begins with the characteristics, aspirations, needs, and challenges of youth themselves as well as the ecosystems in which they live.

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 particular to promoting decent work for young people, reducing the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training, and 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.

Training, Coaching & Education

KIT Royal Tropical Institute provides tailor-made training to clients such as educational and research institutes, NGOs and local or national governments and ministries across the globe. Our programmes are specifically designed 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