The need for SME and entrepreneurship development is especially relevant in the globalised world we live in. It is however a dire situation in emerging economies, where young and expanding populations require the creation of more and better jobs and where economic diversification and increased competitiveness require enterprise development. Events in the past half decade inform us that to achieve these goals, there needs to be a vibrant space for youth development – supporting rural and urban young people and their organisations and enabling them to play an active role in their communities.

It is generally acknowledged in the policy sphere that fostering entrepreneurship development especially in the agri-food sector will be key to the economic and social progress and in addressing the bulging youth unemployment challenges. Proactively supporting young people to identify business opportunities across the agricultural value chain and also re-focusing the mindset of governments, individual and institutional investors to be innovative in their approach to providing financing for young agricultural entrepreneurs will be a game-changer to immense economic emancipation.

Opportunities for job creation exist for young people but unfortunately would not yield any meaningful impact if supportive frameworks are weak or even worse, non-existent and are mere rhetoric. There is a real need for strategic interventions and approaches by governments and development partners to face challenges of unemployment and underemployment of the bulging youth population. Nurturing and impacting employable skills to unskilled youth in rural, peri-urban and urban communities to improve their chances of getting employed and/or becoming entrepreneurs is very essential. However, since majority of non-skilled youth reside in rural communities, they should receive greater emphasis and support. The demographic needs of young rural people are very challenging and they are prone to migrating to cities for non-available jobs if they are left idle and unsupported. Development of a dynamic process of acquiring basic to advanced skills training in both farm and non-farm enterprises and provision of startup grants and loans ( at flexible interest rates and collateral arrangements) will go a long way to address youth unemployment and provide enterprise growth. Availability of mentoring and business development services would further improve the business and managerial skills of young rural entrepreneurs.

YALESI is not just a summit. It is a space for enterprising young persons and leaders to connect, share experiences and get opportunities to develop strategic financing decisions for youth-managed businesses. It is a platform for leaders, financial institutions, development partners, impact research institutions and governments to initiate sustainable projects to address youth unemployment across various value chains and providing employable skills development and financial intermediation for fledgling youth-managed ventures.


January 15,2016

Solomon, GYIN

9 Comments, RSS

  • Natalia Lombana January 23, 2016 @ 2:01 pm Reply

    I’m the chairperson Jijenge youth group in Kakamega County of Western Kenya.We are a rural youth group engaged in agriculture.
    How can we participate in the summit?

    • Natalia Lombana January 23, 2016 @ 2:42 pm Reply

      Dear Jomactosh,
      You can participate in the summit by applying through the Apply now option on the website. There you will need to upload a business plan. This may be the organisation you would like to represent in the Summit. Once you upload the plan, we will go through all of the applications and get back to on whether or not you have been selected.
      Let me know if you have any further questions

  • Natalia Lombana January 25, 2016 @ 7:13 pm Reply

    Fresh ideas normally at first look illogical, silly, or wholly irrelevant Financial crisis situations happen for anyone at one point or another

  • Natalia Lombana January 27, 2016 @ 12:15 pm Reply

    I am working in promoting micro enterprise development for women and youth in rural Myanmar. I am very keen to join the event, but my age is 46 year. May I be able to join the event.

  • Natalia Lombana January 27, 2016 @ 6:18 pm Reply

    IF I’m selected can I get full funds for my business?

    • Natalia Lombana January 27, 2016 @ 9:46 pm Reply

      No, being selected does not guarantee fund for the business. What it guarantees is a place at the Global Youth Business Incubator Application. It is an Application where you will get in touch with investors and supporters to help you raise funds for your business

  • Natalia Lombana February 1, 2016 @ 5:56 am Reply

    I’m above 35 years. can I still apply for the summit? if selected, I also might be able to access grant as a speaker. would that be possible to participate as a speaker?

    • Natalia Lombana February 1, 2016 @ 10:55 am Reply

      You can still apply. If you want to speak, please send us information about what you do to We will let you know what the process is through there

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