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1,990 young people supported with entrepreneurship training as part of a twelve-month youth programme in Brazil

Catalin Parascan
Catalin Parascan    

Youth Business International announced today the results of a one-year grant from the Citi Foundation that enabled Aliança Empreendedora's Generaçao Empreendedora project in Brazil to provide practical support to low-income youth (aged 18 - 35) to start, grow or sustain a business across the country.

Thanks to a USD $250,000 grant from the Citi Foundation, Youth Business International was able to undertake research of relevance to youth entrepreneurship and support its Brazilian member, Aliança Empreendedora to expand the number of young people supported in Brazil and strengthen the network of service providers across the country.

The Citi Foundation grant supported the Generaçao Empreendedora project, which is part of YBI's Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (YEP), a regional initiative covering 10 countries with the aim of supporting more than 60,000 vulnerable youth to start or grow their own businesses. The YEP was launched in 2013 and is supported by IDB Lab of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group idand Accenture, among others.

This initiative was set up as a way of addressing the high unemployment rates people are facing with in Brazil. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the recent economic crisis contributed to a record high unemployment rate of 13.2% in the first quarter of 2017. For this reason, entrepreneurship is seen by many young people in Brazil and across the region as a way of generating income. However, starting and sustaining a viable business is often difficult without adequate support.

Results achieved 

Between August 2017 and August 2018, Generaçao Empreendedora achieved impressive results:

  • 1,991 young entrepreneurs were provided with entrepreneurship training on a national level, 60% were women;
  • 171 new youth-led businesses were created;
  • 636 existing ventures were strengthened due to access to complementary services like access to finance and one-to-one voluntary business mentoring.

With the aim of strengthening the local ecosystem of support that enables aspiring young entrepreneurs to access support, Aliança Empreendedora has:

  • trained 12 national organisations, chosen due to their in-depth expertise and commitment to supporting low-income entrepreneurs;
  • hosted a National Microentrepreneurship Forum, an event that brought together entrepreneurs, supporters, local institutions and other stakeholders to explore ways in which they could collaborate to tackle barriers in entrepreneurship support;
  • hosted the Generaçao Empreendedora-Desafio Brazil Awards, where 20 entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their business for a chance to win one of the six awards offered. 

As a central element of this programme was to produce evidence of what works in youth entrepreneurship, three research studies are currently under development that identify lessons learned and best practices in three specific approaches to youth entrepreneurship programmes:

  • digital landscape facing young entrepreneurs;
  • scaling strategies to reach greater numbers of young people;
  • effectuation model for entrepreneurship skills training.

Once finalised, these research studies will be shared throughout 2018 not only with the key stakeholders from the Latin America and the Caribbean region and the wider YBI network but also with any global organisations actively working in the youth entrepreneurship space.

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