You're viewing an archived version of this project. Please visit the new Big Give site to find current fundraising campaigns.

Project information

Creating Jobs with Technology in Sierra Leone

Following decades of civil war, compounded by the Ebola crises and the recent mudslides in August, our big idea is to foster innovative entrepreneurship for young people in Sierra Leone. We will do this via Youth Entrepreneurship Hubs (YEH) and mobile services to reach 1,230 young people.

September 2017 - December 2019

Charity information: Y Care International

Y Care International logo
  • Need


    In Sierra Leone poverty rates are among the highest in the world and over 60% of young people are unemployed or underemployed. Y Care works to alleviate poverty by moving the ultra-poor (those living on £1.25 a day or less) into stability by creating job opportunities for vulnerable young people aged 15-24. Working with national and international partners
    we will do this by providing young people with the technical skills training, vital assets and the right networks to help them prosper.


    Y Care is part of the global YMCA and as one of Sierra Leone's reputed youth organisations with decades of youth development experience, we are well-placed to lead the project. Through the Youth Entrepreneurship Hubs young people with otherwise limited access will receive technological support like training and business start-up capital, connections and monitoring. As a result they will have the confidence and knowledge to run a successful business and improve their families living conditions.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Establish and ensure the functionality and sustainability of two Youth Entrepreneurship Hubs (YEH)


    » We will convert the Zuba boxes and install computers and other materials to establish the YEH, and provide training, support and ongoing mentoring
    » A mobile engagement service will be established for those who cannot access thehubs which will deliver bite-size curriculum and training via SMS text
    » Engaged youth will be encouraged to develop their business plan with ongoing mentoring and support
    » We will monitor and track community engagement with the hubs to help define and plan for their long-term future and general sustainability

    What success will look like

    Monitor the number of young people enrolled and accessing the hubs and benefiting from the mobile services, and those planning the hub's long term future and efficacy

    Aim 2

    Increase the capacity and skills of young people to start their own business


    » All young people will be trained in life skills; those with low literacy rates will receive basic literacy and numeracy training
    » We will provide business start-up training, interactive workshops, and additional support includes tools and guides
    » We will provide psycho-social support to help young people develop personal resilience and help them recover with the stigma of Ebola
    » Young people will be able to test their idea, develop a business plan, and will receive tailored mentoring support to realise their business

    What success will look like

    Proportion of young people in the process of establishing or running a business and demonstrating skills in: Entrepreneurial competence, marketing, finance and budgeting

    Aim 3

    Support young people to develop and effectively manage their businesses so that they prosper


    » Young people will receive business development support to focus on continuously improving their business plans
    » Start-up capital/equipment (laptops etc) to be provided through a YMCA partnership (with micro finance links) to be awarded on a competitive basis
    » Interested groups of young people will also be encouraged to form savings groups and cooperatives along the value chain

    What success will look like

    Track young people reporting application of mentor advice to grow their businesses and those with enterprises that now in a position to employ others in their community

    Aim 4

    Increase engagement between private sector and youth-led businesses for sustainable market links


    » Linking young people with relevant institutions to set up bank accounts, business registration services, accountancy firms
    » Scheduling networking meetings between young people and the private sector and local and national Government stakeholders
    » We will provide information on business/recruitment events such as trade fairs to ensure young people have maximum exposure to the private sector

    What success will look like

    Young people report increased confidence in their ability to engage with the private sector, and number of new businesses supported by banks and micro-finance institutions

  • Impact


    By receiving skills training to set up an enterprise, we will help young people to set the foundations for the rest of their lives. By providing grants and access to savings groups, a young person's families' financial security and well-being are greatly improved and will positively impact the local economy. Success measurements include the number of youth-led new businesses and the level of employment of other young people with the business and the engagement within the private sector


    Rising inflation may impact the delivery of activities. Mitigation: Ongoing monitoring and necessary adaptations of budget.
    2018 Parliamentary Elections - Government changes may impact relationships/agreements. Mitigation: YMCA's to maintain ongoing engagement with outgoing/incoming government officials, arranging briefing for incumbents.
    Limited access to land for production. Mitigation: advocacy with local and national government, encouragement of young people to form small producer groups


    We will provide regular updates to all appeal donors on its successes, and send personalised message of thanks. We will send 6-monthly updates to donors with special reporting requirements. Major donors will be invited to visit the project, others will be thanked in our Annual Report and online

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,797

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Support Weekly 1:1 business adviser support to help realise the business
      £12,070 Skills Training Literacy and numeracy skills training for 75 young people
      £8,900 Procurement/Installation Solar equipment and installation for one YEH
      £4,827 Procurement 100 mobile phones and 3 months of monthly SMS charges
  • Background


    Despite a growing economy, Sierra Leone (SL) is one of the poorest countries in the world with over 50% of the population living in extreme poverty. Recovering from decades of civil war, the Ebola epidemic hit the economy hard, forcing businesses closures and devastating all sectors. The war ended in 2002 but displaced more than half the population and continues to impact today as hundreds of thousands of children missed out on an education, meaning a large proportion of youth lack basic skills


    63% of the SL population is under 25 years old, this project will target young people between 15- 24. A recent survey shows that 60% of youth are ultra-poor and job opportunities tend to be focused on the capital Freetown, with very few rural opportunities beyond subsistence farming or petty trading. Through local partnerships, we will support 1,230 young people to access skills training, and the right resources and networks to start a business

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Established in 1984, Y Care International operates 25 programmes across 15 developing countries. We have a long track record of delivering impactful programmes to young people most in need. Together with YMCA Sierra Leone which has been working in the local community since 1912, we have the expertise to deliver this project. Working in the heart of the community with input from 7 partners this a unique opportunity to make a difference in one of the poorest global communities.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rehana Merali - Y Care International

    Rehana is the UK-based project coordinator and will be the key liaison between UK partners

    Adam Groves - Partner At On Our Radar

    Adam is responsible for the design and delivery of the project's mobile solutions

    Joseph Katanga - YMCA SL Programme Manager & Coordinator

    Joseph will oversee all aspects of the programme in Sierra Leone and will be responsible for coordinating between all partners

    Christina Constantino - Fundraising Manager At Computer Aid International

    Key contact at Computer Aid who convert the Zuba Boxes and build them into YEH's, installing computers and providing IT training

"I am learning so much everyday, now I know how to use my profits effectively"