Youth unemployment has been extensively identified in literature as a significant economic malaise causing social inequalities and leading to social vices, especially in SSA. The ability of young people to innovate, adapt and embrace change is equally acknowledged as crucial to addressing the problem of unemployment and its attendant challenges. Young people's agility, energy, and creativity can contribute towards sustainable development through innovation and entrepreneurship, which are increasingly recognized as essential drivers of economic growth and societal well-being.
In the current knowledge-based economy, businesses need more than resources and skills. They need to continuously innovate to adapt to a dynamic business environment and create competitive products and services. Those unable to innovate and adjust become increasingly uncompetitive and eventually fail. Taking cognizance of the global youth bulge, it is observable that young entrepreneurs are often excluded from entrepreneurial acceleration support services and business incubation interventions that include human, financial and social capital development.
The partnership between Northumbria University (UK), Kenyatta University (Kenya), The Technical University of Kenya (TUK), and Entrepreneurship Educators Foundation of Eastern Africa (EEFEA) explores the potential for addressing youth unemployment challenges in SSA sustainably. The partnership connects rural and urban entrepreneurs to form a community of practice with a wide range of ecosystem players through a digital platform.
The Community of practice is positioned to accord the entrepreneurs access to capacity building information, social networking sessions, advice, mentorships, and skills training for innovation and adaptability that enhances their efforts towards recognition, evaluation, and exploitation of a wide range of entrepreneurial opportunities that consequently results into scalable and high growth ventures.