Future Forward: Youth Innovations for Employment in Africa

Congratulations to the challenge winners
Read some of our other amazing entries!
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60% of the best jobs in the next 10 years haven’t been invented yet. Could the jobs of the future include the ”Invisible Executive" “Wellness Coach” and "Nutrient Banker"?
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INNOVATIONS TO REFRAME HOW YOUNG PEOPLE IN AFRICA GROW UP & CREATE LIVELIHOODS
Read the MIT Press Innovations Journal article featuring social entrepreneurs in Africa who are driving a new vision for youth
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The conversation so far
Read up on the latest trends, challenges and ideas in the youth employment conversation. Follow the #AfricaYouthFwd hashtag for more

Challenge Winners

Hado Nicaise Sawadogo

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Olumide Adeleye

Ibadan, Nigeria

Ellen Chilemba

Lilongwe, Malawi

Alain Nteff

Bamenda and Buea, Cameroon

Eric Kaduru

Kyenjojo, Uganda

Entries

Title Contributor Location
AEPT-Held and Entrepreneurship Hado Nicaise SA... Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
joinafric Mamadou lamine ... Dakar, Senegal
Sen Women Up Souaré Mamba Kédougou, Senegal
Deejay Linx Resouces GEOFFREY JONAH
The Bridge Project Jean-Marc Mercy Kinshasa, Congo (Kinshasa)
un secteur agricole intensif et plus competitif mor ndiaye saint louis, Senegal
Sarawniya Agro+ Hadiza HACHIMOU Niamey, Niger
Prepclass NG Limited CHUKWUWEZAM OBANOR Nigeria, Nigeria
Rural Global Shapers Tsholofelo Mahusi Johannesburg, South Africa
Farmerline Ltd Schandorf Adu Bright Kumasi, Sunyani, Tamale, Tarkoradi, Ghana
YES Cameroon Teponno Ngoula ... YAOUNDE, Cameroon
Let African youth "Be" Nadia Hitimana kigali, Rwanda
GiftedMom Alain Nteff Bamenda and Buea, Cameroon
Afrivazi Valerie Achieng' Nakuru, Kenya
JAKUZA KATAMBA RONALD Kampala, Uganda
AfricanDevJobs Nina Oduro Accra , Ghana
The Society's Web of Impacts Florence Tesha Tanzania
The Chonde Project Alinafe Chimwele Lilongwe, Malawi
you are not supposed to be unemployed campaign owolabi Ramon Lagos, Nigeria
Imara Partners, Inc. Oluseye Bankole Lagos, Nigeria
MOBILE AGRICULTURE MONITORING SYSTEM AMECHU EMMANUEL KAMPALA, Uganda
Labane-Na TAHIR BANDA EBIRE Abeché, Chad
PROJET D'APPUI A L'AGRICULTURE Anonymous (not verified) KINDU RDC, Congo (Kinshasa)
Inkomoko Business Development Julius Mbaraga Kigali, Rwanda
Students In Business Awards (SIBA) Godwin Okafor Lagos State, Nigeria
YOuth Entrepreneurial Link Investments Andrew Mupuya Kampala, Uganda
Wecyclers Nigeria Limited Bola Akeju Lagos Mainland, Nigeria
Commerce Alimentation Générale ISSIFOU Mouhamadou Lomé, Togo
IMPACT YOUTH VLOUNTEERING PROGRAM Purity Bosson ACCRA, Ghana
My Bizz is Your Bizz (MB-YB) Abiola Oyebanjo Lagos, Nigeria
Growing Young Leaders Pauline Mmbaga Tanzania
ASA POUR TOUS Naly HERINIAINA Madagascar
WAVE (West Africa Vocational Education) Misan Rewane LAGOS, Nigeria
Abalimi Phambili Farmer support Programme-LiMA RDF Nomusa Buthelezi Mount Ayliff, South Africa
Interface Initiative Alsane KEBE Thies, Senegal
Alamonk Recyclers Cajetan Okeke Aba, Nigeria
Alternative Employment Opaleye Olalekan Shagamu, Nigeria
EMR (Environment management and Recycling) Olawunmi Ogunde Ikeja , Nigeria
Youth, Health & IT – the next job boom for Africa. Isaac Kimotho Nairobi, Kenya
Euidem YSEAD Temitayo Adegoke Agbado, Nigeria
CONSTRUCTION D'UNE BOULANGERIE Thérèse SHAKO KINDU RDC, Congo (Kinshasa)
Amzuri - Kenya Kenneth Chomba Nairobi, Kenya
Skills in the Cloud Celestina Adesomo Abeokuta, Nigeria
Assurer un futur pour les jeunes mères de Kindu Sophie Mwinyi KINDU, Congo (Kinshasa)
FootPrints Abel Akeni Abeokuta, Nigeria
creating opportunity for migration returnee youths mekibib kebede Ethiopia
Against All Odds Kate Dunjane Johannesburg, South Africa
Production d'équipements de cuisson économiques joel seka Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
{Afrimath} Masake Kane Dakar, Senegal
TWANTOH MIXED FARMING COMMON INITAITIVE GROUP Newu Glory

Pages

Timeline

Winner is Announced

January 14, 2015
  • Launch
    September 17, 2014
  • Early Entry Deadline
    October 15, 2014
  • Entry Deadline
    November 5, 2014
  • Finalists are Announced
    January 7, 2015
  • Winner is Announced
    January 14, 2015

As part of the Future Forward partnership, Ashoka and The MasterCard Foundation launched the Future Forward: Youth Innovations for Employment in Africa challenge to find bold new ideas—for young people and by young people—that will address the big picture issues around youth employment in Africa.

Youth have the potential to build a better future for Africa and solve the staggering rates of unemployment across the continent. By creating new solutions, young people can equip themselves with the right 21st century tools and skills that will lead to more meaningful, stable, and long-term careers. Through these solutions, African youth can be the leaders and changemakers that are powering a future that meets the demands of a rapidly evolving workplace. Let’s transform the environments where young people work and cultivate opportunities. Let’s change the way people look at employment in Africa.

Big picture solutions could include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Triggering new industries, including innovations in the informal sector
  • Improving access to more inclusive and dynamic work environments for marginalized young people
  • Helping young people acquire changemaking and entrepreneurship skills to recognize and create new opportunities around market-driven solutions
  • Creating opportunities for youth employment in rural areas to decrease rural-to-urban migration
  • Creating relationships of trust and collaboration between businesses and young people that advance market-driven training and skills development programs   
  • Prioritizing effective role modeling and mentorship to help young people identify careers based on interest and passions
  • Improving the models of collaboration between governments, businesses, and citizen-sector organizations for greater impact

If you are from sub-Saharan Africa and between the ages of 18 and 30, Ashoka Changemakers and the MasterCard Foundation invite you to share your ideas for creating bright futures for young people in Africa, and giving them better pathways to meaningful and sustainable careers. Submitting your entry will give you the opportunity to receive helpful feedback from Ashoka and your like-minded peers. The Future Forward challenge is a place where you can refine your idea, gain inspiration, and help build a network for change.

The five top solutions will each receive $1,500 USD in unrestricted funding to be used towards the implementation of the work described in their challenge entry and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Ashoka Globalizer Summit in South Africa next February, where they will receive training, support, and visibility that is critical to their growth and realizing the full impact of their social innovations.

To find out more about the challenge procedures, including information about eligibility, prizes, and criteria for success, read the Guidelines and Criteria below.

The Future of youth employment in Africa is in your hands and we need your idea to take it Forward.

 

About the Future Forward partnership:

The Future Forward partnership aims to identify and support the most innovative social entrepreneurs who address youth employment challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. Through this collaboration, Ashoka and The MasterCard Foundation aim to identify and convene innovators, thought leaders, and youth to inform the conversation about solutions that can move #AfricaYouthFwd.

 

Eligibility

  • The challenge is open to all individuals, and their organizations (not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises, businesses, schools, etc.) that are implementing, or plan to implement, the work described in their entry in sub-Saharan Africa. (This includes all African countries EXCEPT Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Western Sahara, and Sudan.)
  • Entrants must be from an eligible country in sub-Saharan Africa and between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • Entrants based outside of sub-Saharan Africa must be explicit in their entry about their plan to implement their solution in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The top five entrants that will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Ashoka Globalizer Summit in South Africa must be able to travel to South Africa for an event in early February, 2015 (this includes having a valid passport).
  • Solutions should reflect the theme of the challenge Future Forward: Youth Innovations for Employment in Africa. We want to hear how your solution is addressing youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa. Solutions that increase employment opportunities for young people, and/or increase the employability of young people are eligible. The types of solutions that are eligible could include, but are not limited to:
    • Triggering new industries, including innovations in the informal sector
    • Improving access to more inclusive and dynamic work environments for marginalized young people
    • Helping young people acquire changemaking and entrepreneurship skills to recognize and create new opportunities around market-driven solutions
    • Creating opportunities for youth employment in rural areas to decrease rural-to-urban migration
    • Creating relationships of trust and collaboration between businesses and young people that advance market-driven training and skills development programs   
    • Prioritizing effective role modeling and mentorship to help young people identify careers based on interest and passions
    • Improving the models of collaboration between governments, businesses, and citizen-sector organizations for greater impact
  • Entries must be written in English, French, or Portuguese.

Prizes

Challenge Winners

The top five entries in the challenge, determined by a panel of expert judges, will receive the following prizes:

  • Ashoka Globalizer Summit: An invitation and all-expense paid trip to South Africa for the Ashoka Globalizer Summit in early February, 2015. There they will be joining an ecosystem of, and networking with, other top innovators, thought leaders, Ashoka Fellows, and potential investors that can help them scale and increase the impact of their work.
  • Funding: $1,500 USD in unrestricted funding to be used towards the implementation of the work described in their challenge entry.

Early Entry Winners

The top three entries that enter the challenge by October 15, 2014 will receive the following prize:

  • Early Entry Prize: Three Early Entry Winners will each receive an Ashoka produced article profiling their work and $500 USD of promotional ads on Facebook.

Challenge Finalists and Semi-Finalists

The top entries in the Future Forward Challenge will be publicly recognized as semi-finalists and finalists on the Future Forward website.


Why You Should Enter

In addition to the challenge prizes, entrants in this challenge will:

  • Join a community and network of like-minded peers that are working to increase employment opportunities for young people in Africa. Participating in the challenge gives you the opportunity to forge relationships with, and gain visibility, among like-minded innovators, impact partners, sector experts, and potential investors.
  • Receive constructive feedback about your work and how you present it in your entry.
  • Explore other innovations in the field, so you learn more about what others are doing, and how your work fits into the sector. 

How to Enter

  • Complete the entry form and submit it by the entry deadline: November 5, 2014 at 17:00h GMT. If you submit your entry early, you may continue to edit and modify it until this deadline.
  • For advice about how to create a better entry and boost your chances of winning, read these tips.
  • If you have any questions about the entry process, or experience any problems when entering the challenge, please contact lmarino@ashoka.org.

Criteria

Top entries in the Future Forward challenge will be those that best meet the following criteria:

Innovation

The best entries will be those that present a uniquely effective approach to increasing employment opportunities for young people in sub-Saharan Africa. This can mean creating or increasing access to jobs, and/or increasing the employability of young people in Africa. Entries should describe how their solutions are driven by original, ground-breaking ideas. Innovation does not necessarily involve inventing something entirely new; however, entries that present a unique approach to addressing the challenges and barriers facing youth employment will be stronger. The strongest entries will clearly summarize their solution’s key activities aimed at meeting their goals.

Social Impact

Entries must describe how they are increasing employment opportunities for youth in sub-Saharan Africa. The best solutions will feature demonstrated impact, as well as the potential to grow the impact on a regional or national scale. Entries should explain how the solution measures impact through both quantitative and qualitative data. Entries in the idea stage with no demonstrated impact to date should explain what kind of impact their solution will create and how they plan on measuring that impact.

Sustainability

Entries should have a clear plan for reaching long-term goals and securing financial backing. They should describe not only how they currently finance their work, but also how they plan to finance it in the future. They should also have a realistic time frame for implementation. The most successful entrants demonstrate that they have strong partnerships to address ongoing needs, support scalability, and maintain a clear financial strategy.


Challenge Deadlines

  • Entry Stage: September 17, 2014 - November 5, 2014, 17:00h GMT
  • Early Entry Deadline: October 15, 2014, 17:00h GMT
    • Entries received by 5 p.m. GMT on October 15, 2014 are eligible for an early entry prize. Receiving an early entry prize does not preclude you from being selected for other Challenge prizes.
  • Final Entry Deadline: November 5, 2014, 17:00h GMT
  • Judging and Evaluation: November 5, 2014 – January 14, 2015
  • Finalists Announced: January 5, 2015 (specific date to be confirmed)
  • Winners Announced: January 14, 2015 (specific date to be confirmed)
  • Ashoka Globalizer Summit: Early February, 2015 (specific date to be confirmed)
 

 

 

Director

African Leadership Academy Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership

President & CEO

Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF)

Management Consultant

Mandela Washington Fellow

Blog

 
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