With the largest youth population in the world, Africa’s youth unemployment rate threatens the current and future stability and economic growth of the continent.

In Guinea, where Dare to Innovate is headquartered, more than 60% of college graduates are unemployed. And even though they are more educated than the previous generation, youth remain twice as likely to be unemployed as their parents because the skills they are armed with do not match market demands. Not only does the exclusion of young people from the workforce perpetuate generational cycles of poverty, but it also breaks down social cohesion and can be associated with higher levels of crime and violence.

The World Bank considers youth unemployment to be a form of social exclusion, degrading the role of youth in the development of their country and associated with a reduction in wellbeing and future opportunities.

Over the next 10 years, 13 million African youth are expected to join the labor market annually. Youth unemployment is an epidemic that must be treated now.

Further complicating the issue is the fact that creating a job is not as simple as inviting a factory to open within your borders. An ecosystem approach that includes education and financing, in addition to pro-business development policies, is necessary. Entrepreneurship is not the whole solution, but it plays a big part. In fact, a recent World Bank study revealed that funding entrepreneurs is possibly the most efficient type of development intervention.

Dare to Innovate is a social enterprise that creates the conditions for West African entrepreneurs to thrive through training, investment, and support. We go a step further by training our entrepreneurs to launch social businesses, highlighting and promoting the role youth can play in the development of their communities. Youth engagement and employment are integral to a prosperous future. Dare to Innovate unlocks this potential.

“I think that youth are very powerful. They constitute the future of the nation. They are becoming increasingly conscious of what they must do in order to lead their country toward a better tomorrow.”
— Amadou “Douris” II Barry