Frequently Asked Questions


What is TNE program?

The Next Economy was a transformative program aimed at empowering over 10,000 young individuals (18 to 25) by providing them with essential skills and opportunities to succeed in employment or entrepreneurship over a 6-month period.

What are the two tracks offered by TNE program?

After an initial 3 month Core Life Skills training, TNE participants were offered a choice between an employability track and an entrepreneurship track. The former preparing for proper job application and on the job training, the latter for proper start up of a business and crowdfunding

Where and when did TNE operate?

TNE ran from 2015 to 2023 and operated in Mali (Bamako and Segou), Nigeria (Abouja, Lagos and Jos), Somalia (Mogadishu) and Somaliland (Hargeisa)

Why those locations?

Based on preliminary research before the program's inception, certain locations were identified as most in need and possessing the target audience poised to gain the most from our interventions. Spanning from populous urban centers like Lagos to the unique context of Hargeisa in Somaliland, the program was meticulously designed to be flexible and cater to the diverse characteristics of these varied locations.

Who was responsible for TNE?

TNE was a collaborative effort led by SOS Children's Villages in The Netherlands, Mali, Somalia and Somaliland, and Crosswise Works. 

TNE was also implemented through a network of dedicated organizations including: Impact Hub Bamako, Wennovation Hub, FATE Foundation, Black Innovations Africa, Aspilos Foundation, SIMAD iLab, Shaqodoon. HarHub and GoodUp. 

TNE was funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Local Employment for Development in Africa (LEAD) programme.

Was there a fee to participate in The Next Economy?

The program was made available to participants in all participating countries without any associated costs. This was made possible through the funding provided by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Local Employment in African Development (LEAD) program.

Who funded The Next Economy?

TNE was funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Local Employment for Development in Africa (LEAD) programme. 

LEAD also supported other impactful initiatives that were implemented in parallel to TNE by Oxfam Novib (Work in Progress), SPARK and Hivos (BOOST and GreenWorks), and their respective partners.


What was TNE’s approach?

TNE’s learner-centric approach offered training and support on core life skills, employability, entrepreneurship and incubation, enabling young participants to select their respective career paths and corresponding support according to their interests and ambitions.

How did TNE incorporate real-world experience for youth into its programs?

TNE integrated real-world experiences through a range of activities including internships, jobs and business fairs, mentorship opportunities, pitch events, etc. These were aimed at building participants’ real-world understanding of the job and business markets.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital through the collective effort of friends, family and individual micro investors. In TNE, crowdfunding served as a platform for young entrepreneurs to raise startup capital for their ventures, but also as an instrument to validate their business ideas and practice their entrepreneurial traits. Crowdfunding enabled participants to start sharing and legitimizing their idea thereby increasing their self esteem along the way.


How can I learn from TNE’s experience?

This website was created specifically to capture and share TNE’s program and lessons. Explore our Program page to learn more about TNE’s approach, dive into inspiring stories from our youth community through our Impact page, and download helpful program documents via our Resources page.

Can I use TNE’s Resources in my own program or initiative?

Absolutely! We welcome you to use and share TNE’s resources and tools. These resources are openly shared—under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License—with the intention of supporting further learning in the youth employability and entrepreneurship space. Please share it widely!

If you would like to include parts of our resources in your own work, please ensure that due credit is given. Text for attribution is as follows: 

Source: The Next Economy Program, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. The Next Economy Program and its partners does not necessarily endorse the content of this publication.

I work in youth entrepreneurship and/or employability, and wish to collaborate with TNE — is this possible?

TNE was designed as a time-bound initiative that concluded in December 2023. However, the Program’s impact continues through our committed partners who work to advance the mission of empowering youth across Africa. 

We invite you to visit our Consortium page to explore our partner organization’s profiles, learn about their incredible work, and how you can get in touch.

I still have questions, who should I reach out to?