South Africa:Youth Economic Participation

Date: June 25, 2019
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Young people in the province were able to benefit from this project, as we were able to connect them with the relevant stakeholders who assisted them mainly in their business and on how they can be able to channel their business in the economic channel. We did this through different platforms like seminars, workshops, hackathons, and Imbizos throughout the province. We had to organize all this through our Task team members in different districts and in partnership with our Youth officers in government and municipalities. All these events are running throughout the year.


Young people in our province are not actively participating in the economic activities thus leaving them vulnerable to unemployment. Some have businesses but they are not profitable as they lack skills, knowledge, and support for their business to thrive. Our ultimate goal is to make sure that we bridge this gap by making sure that they are assisted or connected with the right stakeholders to make sure that their businesses are thriving and are actively involved in economic activities. With the chosen strategy, we have realized that we will be able to cover or reach out to all young people within the province. Our young people lacked information that was already there but they could access it because of certain obstacles. By rolling out programs that will equip them with all the information needed was the best strategy that we could use. When people have all the information, then it becomes easier for them to make decisions about their businesses based on the information received. They will be able to engage more in economic activities and start their own businesses that will boost our provincial economy and thus reducing unemployment.

Key Actions

We will be running different programs like workshops, conversations, dialogues, and imbizos in deep rural areas as those young people are the ones that are deeply affected or side-lined in the mainstream economy, by reaching out to them, we know they will be able to use the information received to establish different businesses and improve their lives. We will be connecting with government official especially our youth offices to create a concussive environment for business to thrive. Our aim is to make sure that we influence the policy as well to make sure that it places young people in the mainstream economy. Young people are being given a chance in different platforms to present their business ideas to potential investors who can be able to fund them or mentor them. We have government stakeholders who are available to support young people’s business to make sure that they do not die in the first few years of their existence. Young people are connected with financial advisors and banks to make sure that they are taught how to handle money in a good way.


We are working with government departments, municipalities, government parastatals, civil societies and private sectors across the country. We sat down with them, and propose programs that will make sure that young people are in the mainstream of the economy. Most of the time, it is more of information sharing and support rendered. Through our collaboration with different partners, we are able to run these programs in different locations. In most cases, our partner’s role is to support our programs through resources available from them. Some they can assist in supporting young people and mentoring them. The local government comes up with different programs that will assist young people in any way. Private sectors are able to fund the most start-up business.


We had to make many collaborations with different partners. We knew that many organizations had many resources and did not know how to use them. Therefore, we approached them with our programs and what we want to achieve through them and they all wanted to be part. We had to connect with our political leaders as well; their responsibility to see to it that they invest more in young people, especial in establishing businesses that will be able to stabilize our economy. We had to mobilize young people in our province, take them to a leadership training that normally takes 16 days divided by 2.In an environment that nurtures social, economic and political forces for community development, this is our entry-tier course that helps participants take their leadership skills to the next level.  After their training, they are released into their own community to make sure that they drive the change they want to see.


Economic growth South Africa has enjoyed in recent years has not created enough opportunities for its young people to use their talents to earn sustainable livelihoods. Just over 40% of South Africa’s population comprises young people, and youth unemployment now stands at more than 27% amongst this grouping. ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is committed to connecting young people to opportunities for growth and development. In this light, the network has initiated the Youth Economic Participation Sector with the aim of creating opportunities for improved access to training, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for Activators.

Immediate results and next steps

Networking amongst young people. Collaboration amongst them and support of the fellow youth business. We have up to this far encourage young people to support each other in their business. We have managed to run different workshops across the province. We have managed to share job opportunities across for them to apply and be employed. We have connected many with relevant people and stakeholders to enhance their participation in the economy. We have encouraged many young people to establish more businesses. We have a Task team that will be monitoring every progress that is being made by young people and see how we can assist them if they encounter problems. We still need to reach out to many rural areas as they have many young people who are not aware of opportunities available for them. We still need more programs that will support and encourage young people to participate in the economic activities through Technology as the fourth industrial revolution is upon us.

Long term Impact

The program helps participants nurture the development of strong social businesses, helping them to proceed from an idea to business incubation or the start-up of their initiative. the Youth Economic Participation Sector employs the A! Classifieds and the Entrepreneur Buddy tools respectively to advance the economic participation of Activators. Through the A! Classifieds, the network sources employment opportunities and advertises them on both its website and social media platforms. The Entrepreneur Buddy essentially sets out to connect entrepreneurs within the network to opportunities for development and growth in the form of workshops, seminars, webinars and networking opportunities.

Learning and Application

More focus needs to be made for young people to participate in economic activities to make sure that we boost the economy. We are the future of our country and investment sho   uld be made on young people in any way.

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