Enhancing productivity, revenue and resilience of women and youth-owned businesses in the wake of COVID-19 through tailored entrepreneurship, leadership training and mentorship in Botswana

The Women and Youth Build Resilient Businesses (WYBRB) programme is a UNDP Botswana project funded by Russia. The Project addresses the challenges of post-COVID-19 business recovery and resilience as well as job creation in a contracting and heavily resource-dependent economy. It will expand the ongoing Business Supplier Development Programme (SDP) to support women and youth-owned Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) build back better through leveraging business opportunities in the health, agriculture and technology sectors. The focus will be on expanding local supply chains, creating a “mind shift” to buy local and have the SMEs become the core of the revised economic model.

The project will target women and youth SMEs (i.e Suppliers) using the SDP approach by providing a trained business development consultant as a mentor for 10 months and also by providing a secure market through commitment of a number of large-scale national or international firms (i.e. Buyers) to buy their products. This will reduce their risks and allow them to concentrate on providing the products to the Buyers on time and with quality. The close mentoring will ensure increased productivity, revenue and resilience to future shocks.

Furthermore, the project will support Botswana to rollout the tried and tested African #YouthConnekt platform in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) and Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub. The #YouthConnekt platform will assist youth entrepreneurs and start-ups through tailored entrepreneurship and leadership training and mentorship, with a dual focus on economic growth and social impact. An additional set of youth will also benefit from digital spaces and dialogues, social change initiatives and linkages to potential markets, financing services, investors, mentors and partners. The #YouthConnekt platform and support services will increase youth job opportunities and start-up success rates.

Status

Active

Duration

January 13, 2020 - July 13, 2022

Coverage

Botswana

Beneficiaries

Women and youth-owned SMEs, youth entrepreneurs, Batswana youth aged 15-35 years

Focus Area

(1)   Promote decent employment for women and youth entrepreneurs to better recover after the COVID-19 induced crisis;

(2)   Strengthen value chains in the health, agriculture and other sectors;

(3)   Promote digital solutions within SMEs business practices.

Partners

Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture (MYSC), Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI), Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub (BDIH), Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC), Local Enterprise Authority, Private Sector, Russian Expertise

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