Be the Change Academy

Enterprise Training in West Africa

Meet the women of the BTCA

Each BTCA runs free youth-led enterprise training linked to a revolving loan fund that invests in the best business plans.

  • Gbasay Davis - Paynesville, Liberia
    Gbasay Davis
  • Mangee Williams
  • Marie Deline
  • Matee Freeman
  • Musulyn Dassen
  • Yei Neagor

We’ve funded over 200 businesses in West Africa

The BTCAs are innovative, engaging and effective

As part of the ten-week enterprise training programme, the young women learn business skills ranging from market research to managing staff to customer service.

  • The concept was designed by young people

    They are staffed, run and fuelled by the energy, talent and enthusiasm of young people. The young staff are trained and supported by top-flight professionals.

  • Linking practical business plan creation training to an internal bank

    This offers the trainees non-collateralised loans at affordable interest rates to make the best of the plans happen

  • Offering a unique brand of ‘differential mentorship’

    24/7 support and nurturing from a variety of mentors to ensure that each Youth-Led Business Start-Up (YLBS-U) is successful

We’ve provided enterprise training to over 1500 women in West Africa

Together we are stronger

Working with our dedicated partners – Jatropa in Guinea, AW.I.S.H. Sierra Leone and Youth Crime Watch Liberia – is key to the success of our enterprise training programme, these strong local ties set our programmes apart.

NORAD

Building on the success of the Kenya pilot, we set up the West Africa training academy network in partnership with the Norwegian government, the US Peace Corps, the World Bank, the UN and youth organisations in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the programme runs. It aims to train 4,500 young women and start more than 1,100 new businesses employing over 1,500 young women.

A W.I.S.H.

Operating out of Kenema, Sierra Leone is our partner A World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity Sierra Leone (AW.I.S.H. SL). A local chapter of AW.I.S.H. International, AW.I.S.H. SL tackles the economic and social destruction after Sierra Leone’s civil war. It has pioneered youth-led micro-finance in rural areas of Sierra Leone, setting up cooperative farms as social enterprises and schools with free places for Ebola orphans.

Jatropha

Our local partner operating in Conakry Guinea is Jatropha Microfinance Bank. Founded by Alpha Bacar Barry, following his work with the UN and PCI, Jatropha has operated successfully for seven years. It was hailed by the Netherlands-based Children and Youth Finance Initiative as ‘the world’s first youth MFI’.

Youth Crime Watch Liberia

Youth Crime Watch Liberia (YCWL), affiliated with Youth Crime Watch America, empowers children and young adults and creates safer societies through education, economic reconstruction, development projects and crime prevention. YCWL now focuses on job creation, too, running the BTCA in Paynesville.