The uniqueness of YA’s employability programming is in its highly innovative and sustainable franchise business model. Our franchise model enables us to harness local resources for youth empowerment. Every YA centre is set up as a social enterprise which provides skills training through local entrepreneurs, who assume the responsibility to train young people to be entrepreneurs or to be skilled enough to be employed by entrepreneurs. In addition to taking responsibility to pass on their artisanal skills to the young people of their communities, local entrepreneurs pay rent for using fully equipped workshops (or land) from YA. Rentals paid by franchisees contribute to the financial and operational self-sustainability of centres. The franchise model therefore offers a cost-effective and efficient solution to youth employability programming in resource constrained Africa where traditional and cost-intensive approaches are generally failing. The YA franchise model ensures (i) financial sustainability of YA centres, (ii) opportunities for on-the-job exposure to trainees, (iii) availability of local entrepreneurial role models, (iv) participation of YA centres in the local economy.
Unotida Huye joined Young Africa as a franchisee in 2011. Her business had a very rocky start. She was not able to attract internal or external customers. This was because she was used to relying on church peers for business when she operated from her home. Young Africa assisted Unotida’s business by purchasing more equipment for the catering department and guaranteeing her catering business from anyone who used Young Africa for workshops and conferences. Young Africa also enrolled Unotida for Improve Your Business Training. After this training, Unotida’s business turned around and she started to be contracted for catering jobs outside Young Africa. With revenue from her clients she was able to contribute to the marketing of the course and student enrollment increased. Today, the catering department trains around 120 students per year.
Unotida enjoys training young people and says “I take pride in training young people because that is the stage they need help in shaping their future”. In the future she intends to participate fully in curriculum review to ensure that the students are adequately trained for the catering world.