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Africa Alliance of YMCAs on 29th and 30th August 2019 held a social enterprise training manual validation workshop with youth and staff from Kenya YMCA. The workshop was held at Kenya YMCA Shauri Moyo branch with 20 participants in attendance. The main objective was to review the draft training manual and come to consensus on the activities to be included in the training manual.

The manual is a product of the Africa Canadian Leadership initiative, a collaboration of the African Alliance of AAYMCA and Y-Canada through the mentorship, guidance and technical expertise of Mr. John Haddock. The Social Enterprise (SE) Manual will be useful in making young people become active in building their local movements within African YMCAs. The manual therefore is designed by AAYMCA as a practical guide in assisting young people to set up social enterprises at their local branches thus contributing to building revenue for the branch. The model will not only benefit the branch but also engage disenfranchised youth in the community by creating job opportunities for wealth creation through a value chain.

 AYMCA believes that by empowering young people through creation of social enterprises is the beginning of mainstreaming the sustainability of local branches through homegrown solutions and hence enhanced and sustained youth programming aimed at transforming youth from the society. This Social Enterprise Trainers’ Manual and cascaded trainer’s materials is a birth of a subjects to citizens (S2C). AAYMCA strongly believes in and supports the role of young people in transforming new approach to empowering youth within communities using the Social Enterprise Approach. It empowers youth to identify problems, needs in their environment and come up with practical solutions using available resources. This manual is a simplified step-by-step version in developing social enterprise and can be adopted at all levels of set up. 

According to the ADBG 2016 Report 10-12 Million disenfranchised youth enter the workforce, yet 3 Million jobs are created annually. A recent research by the Africa Alliance of YMCA, leading to the Africa Youth Scenarios building with data recorded in the Africa Youth Fact Book 2018 (AFYFB) reveals that, the ‘youth trend’ towards seeking formal employment is more than what the labor market can absorb. The same data suggests that there is lack of investment in training youth for Technology, NGO Work, Education, Agriculture and Health related jobs.

These sectors can equally earn youth an opportunity for self-employment if packaged in a way to supersede the demeaning impression that youth perceive of small scale informal/formal businesses. Self-employment via entrepreneurship in diversity of sectors is the most promising choice for unemployed youth (nearly 80% of unemployed youth would wish to start small businesses run in a professional way). Yet, an entrepreneurship ecosystem conducive for youth to start, grow, and sustain their businesses is still lacking. This is confirmed by the fact that more than 75% of youth businesses collapse in initial phases due to high price on renting business offices, lack of good markets, very limited access to advertisements, and limited access to business development services.

The training manual is intended for active youth volunteers at the local branches, S2C Ambassadors, Programme Coordinators, Change Argents, and Young Advocates for Change (YAC). It also targets youth entrepreneurs with interest for social change.

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