The training was conducted by Mr. Adnan Qatinah, a master trainer based in Sana’a, Yemen, and participants included 20 enterprise development trainers from a variety of youth-focused NGOs working in Somaliland.
These trainers will now be able to implement the Build Your Business curriculum within their own organizations, enabling hundreds of young Somalis to learn the skills they need to launch successful businesses. The workshop was the first Build Your Business training ever implemented in the Somali territories.
“Build Your Business” (BYB) is an entrepreneurship training course developed by the International Youth Foundation and Microsoft, and designed to introduce young people to the basic ideas, actions, and skills needed to successfully launch, lead, and grow a micro or small business. Silatech is a regional social initiative that promotes large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, access to capital and markets, and the participation and engagement of young people in economic and social development. Shaqodoon is a Somali NGO that provides Somali youth with skills training, access to work, internships and self-employment opportunities.
Youth entrepreneurship training is of particular significance in the Somali territories, given that approximately 70 percent of the population is below the age of 30. With unemployment rates greater than 65 percent, and with few formal sector entry points into the workforce, many Somalis end up as entrepreneurs in the informal sector by necessity.
According to Silatech Director of Microenterprise Justin Sykes, “There is an acute need for enterprise development support services designed to support aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs in the Somali territories. We believe that the Build Your Business curriculum is crucial to providing young Somali entrepreneurs with access to the key skills needed to start, grow, and sustain micro and small businesses.”
Organizations that participated in the workshop will now be able to train others, as well as offer Build Your Business as part of their programming. Participating organizations included Shaqodoon, Horn of Africa Voluntary Youth Committee (HAVOYOCO), Taakulo, Doses of Hope, SONYO and Kaaba Microfinance.
This training links closely with Silatech’s broader youth enterprise support programming. Later this month, 10 finalists from a business plan competition being run by Silatech and Shaqodoon will receive Build Your Business training. The competition was publicized to thousands of youth throughout the Somali territories this summer, leading to around 100 submissions.
The 10 winners will be trained in BYB and coached in pitching their business ideas to a panel of local dignitaries at an event later this month. Bulsho-TV, a media partner of Silatech and Shaqodoon with coverage across the Somali territories, will make a television series about the finalists, promoting and strengthening a culture of entrepreneurship in the county.
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