Young people chose their own career paths in The Next Economy programme. Over a 6-month period, each cohort was provided with the skills and opportunities that were needed to succeed in either employment or entrepreneurship. In each of these career tracks, they were given access to high quality learning content and were linked to coaches, peers, and alumni that help them build the confidence and connections needed to earn a sustainable income and fulfill their potential.

Core Life Skills

Core Life Skills Training laid the crucial foundation for youth seeking the right job. It provided them with essential skills to understand themselves, define career goals aligned with their interests and ambitions, and develop professional skills. Upon completion, participants decided whether to pursue a path to either employment or entrepreneurship.

Employability Track

Employability Training

TNE Employability Training supported young people to find and keep decent work. It mixed the skills of the modern workforce (communication, teamwork, and problem-solving) with basic skills (job search, CV development, and time management) that are essential in a competitive job market. Once hired, young people are well placed to succeed when presented with opportunities for career advancement. Additionally, the program established alumni networks that offered peer coaching to enhance career progression opportunities.


Coaches helped participants match their own interests to the local labor market as well as help identify potential employers and internship opportunities. These coaches provided the type of one-on-one support that young people needed to help navigate finding and keeping the right job.


Internships allowed young people to acquire the workplace experience, business connections, gain experience and increase marketability needed to get a job. Based on their own career interests, participants sought out internships through a local network of supporting companies. Project coaches work with participants throughout to support career guidance and skill development.

Job Fairs

TNE Job Fairs matched employers with skilled and ambitious participants. They provided exposure to the types of jobs that were available in growing sectors in their markets. Job Fairs served as an opportunity for participants to develop networking and communications skills. Matches brokered during the job fairs benefitted both companies and young job-seekers alike.


Young people maintained contact and strengthened connections with other program graduates via facilitated social media groups, online platforms, physical conferences, and networking events. These alumni experiences support continued professional guidance and links to employment or business opportunities.

Entrepreneurship Track

Entrepreneurship Training

Entrepreneurship training supported young people to identify promising business opportunities and turn those ideas into reality. This training harnessed the creativity and innovation that young people can bring to solving both business and social problems. Young entrepreneurs were supported to make a business plan, understand start-up finance, marketing, team leadership, and navigate the challenges of starting and growing their own businesses. Entrepreneurship training was supported by a crowdfunding campaign that matched the funds that young people raised for their business.


Incubation support helped accelerate youth-led businesses by offering expertise, funding, and networking opportunities. Young entrepreneurs transitioned from small start-up enterprises to profitable scaled-up businesses. By structuring support in a group setting, ambitious entrepreneurs were able to learn from both experts and from each other.


Crowdfunding offered participants a source of startup capital for their entrepreneurial ventures. It required them to develop and apply a marketing approach in a crowdfunding campaign. This sharpened their value propositions, improved their business plans, and ensured that young people had the support they needed in their communities to launch a successful venture.

Pitch Fairs

Youth entrepreneurs were provided the opportunity to participate in a Pitch Fair to local investors, financiers, government officials, and potential customers. The goal was to broaden their networks and facilitate access to additional financing or partnerships.


Participants engaged actively and built stronger networks with fellow TNE graduates through social media groups, online platforms, in-person conferences, and networking events. These alumni interactions provided ongoing professional guidance and connections to business opportunities.

Crosscutting Issues

Gender Inclusivity​

Young women encounter greater challenges in securing employment and succeeding in business. To address this inequity, TNE incorporated a range of strategies to make sure that participants, project staff, and businesses were better equipped to support young women participants’ transitions to work and business. These initiatives helped raise awareness of the issues that women face, and supported organizations to solve them.

Partnership Building

Active focus was laid on building partnerships between and amongst entrepreneurs, entrepreneur support organizations, educational institutions, private sector and public sector through engaging an expert focussed solely on fostering those partnerships. Each location, therefore had their very own partnership builder who could matchmake 1-1 between an intern and a business, a startup and a potential investor. These experts would flag certain investment and pitching rounds as well as provide larger local companies with information on creating an internship programme within their company thereby actively engaging the ecosystem to the needs of the Youth within The Next Economy.

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Ecosystem Strengthening

Young entrepreneurs generally require a range of support to grow and thrive. Local entrepreneurial ecosystems play an important role in the holistic growth and success of young businesses. By increasing the capacity of entrepreneurship support organizations, young entrepreneurs were better supported within the project as the wider entrepreneurship ecosystem. The results were institutions that were able to better serve their target group and to engage policymakers, financial institutions and businesses to assist young entrepreneurs.

Community Engagement

Businesses, educational institutions, and the government need support in engaging with young people. TNE developed tools to facilitate productive and mutually beneficial interactions between these institutions and the youth. This resulted in a more engaged public and private sector, demonstrating a robust commitment to address the challenges of youth employment.


Unlock the potential of young entrepreneurs and job seekers with TNE’s curated learning resources. Built on extensive program experience, these curated resources offer a blend of active learning techniques, gender-sensitive approaches, and practical tools. We welcome you to read and download them.