In the rural context of northern Benin, the lack of employment opportunities and adequate training prevents young people from realizing their potential. Helvetas works to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit of rural youth and supports them in developing new ideas through a network of local experts.
Rural youth with entrepreneurial spirit
In northern Benin, young people, especially young women, have little chance of finding employment that allows them to develop and become self-sufficient. Agriculture is the most important economic activity, but it is often not profitable and attractive enough. However, the demand for food products by the urban population is increasing, which offers good prospects for development.
This is why Helvetas' «Anfanni - Dare to be an entrepreneur» project encourages young people to go beyond the subsistence family farm and start their own business to offer new products adapted to the changing consumer habits of their customers. In order to achieve this vision, it is necessary to increase the confidence of young people in the exploitation of local resources and to offer them appropriate, rapid and practical training courses.
During the first phase of the project, Helvetas trained and accompanied 1,342 young people in small-scale livestock farming (poultry and pig farming) and food processing.
In the second phase, the project is working to strengthen the skills and professionalism of local experts, so that they can provide training to youth in the different communities and provide better services to agricultural businesses, thus contributing to local economic development.
A vibrant market is essential for start-ups to thrive and create jobs. The project focuses on building capacity and marketing opportunities for agricultural products through the development of trade networks and the use of digital platforms to facilitate promotion and sales.