The Key to Full Youth Employment: Entrepreneurship
“I graduated with a Master’s degree in geography from the Abomey-Calavi University of Benin in 2010. After several unsuccessful job applications, I decided to create my own business. Thus, in 2011, I founded my own agribusiness enterprise. Currently, this business permits me to have money for my needs, and I work hard in order to expand it”. This is the testimony of Patrick, a young person of Benin who was converted to entrepreneurship after his geography studies at university.
“To ensure sustainable development, poverty reduction and reduce social exclusion, it is most important to ensure full youth employment. Yet universities don’t ensure business skill training for the students”. According to Patrick, school can provide knowledge, but it is also important for all young people have the gumption to try to start their own businesses to contribute to the reduction of unemployment. Like Patrick, several young Beninese try entrepreneurship. The most daring and lucky succeed, but others struggle.
Indeed, in Benin, several education specialists recognise that the training universities offer does not align with the training entrepreneurship requires. Many young people leaving school are not qualified to operate their enterprises properly. Therefore, several programs of the government, NGOs and international institutions encourage youth entrepreneurship.
In Benin, these young people work in agribusiness, tourism and handicrafts. Patrick, for example, is a farm manager. Through his business activities, he profits and provides for his daily needs. He started his business in 2011 and has grown to employ two young people. His ambition is to expand his enterprise’s activities and become a great businessman recognized in Benin, Africa and around the world.
When asked about what advice to give to unemployed young people, Patrick says, “all young people should be bold, be creative and know that they can end poverty by entrepreneurship”. As for this young Beninese entrepreneur, he maintains that entrepreneurship is the only way to ensure the well-being of youth in the world.
Submitted by Dehouindji Nestor, a Peace Child International Task Force Member and Communications Consultant based in Benin.
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