Peace Child International’s Be the Change Academy (BTCA) is a youth-led programme that provides enterprise training, loans and mentorship to aspiring young entrepreneurs in west Africa and India.

With young people suffering the most from the unemployment crisis, their future prospects and the future of the global economy seem increasingly bleak. Unless as many as 1 billion jobs are created over the next decade, many will be condemned to a  lifetime of poverty. To open the doors to future prosperity, a major and immediate change is needed.

Thanks to support from NOARD, Be the Change Academy is part of that change. It takes that famous call to action, “you have to Be the Change you want to see in the world,” and uses it to inspire young people to take their futures into their own hands. Business and entrepreneurial training is something that traditional education models often neglect, but in the present day, this knowledge is increasingly essential. Education needs to adjust to these new trends, and the Be the Change model shows how this can be done.

Each BTCA runs a youth-led free Business Plan creation training. This training is linked to a Revolving Loan Fund, which invests in the best Business Plans and makes them a reality. At the moment, there are three BTCAs running in three African cities: Kenema, Sierra Leone;  Paynesville, Liberia;  Conakry, Guinea

What makes a BTCA unique, fun and effective is:

  • The concept was designed by young people
  • The BTCAs 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
  • The BTCAs link Practical Business Plan creation training to an internal bank, which offers non-collateralised loans at affordable interest rates to make the best of the plans happen
  • The BTCAs offer 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) the BTCA funds is successful


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