Enhancing Rural Youth Advancement Through Entrepreneurship

we will use the ERYAE program to help develop commercial agriculture & other rural business models that will enable youths in West Africa

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $250k - $500k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 500 - 1,000

Organization type

  • For-profit

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • Nigeria

Headquarters location: City

Uyo, Akwa Ibom

Location(s) of impact

Nigeria: Makurdi, Uyo, Calabar, Port-Harcourt and Abuja

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

The rate of unemployment in Nigeria among the youths (both male and female) is alarming, most graduates of tertiary institutions have no jobs or managerial skills to help them develop their own businesses in the market place, most undergraduates are faced with the challenges of the global market after leaving school because the necessary skills capitalization is lacking in their certificate. Those who have the skills and business plan don't have the required start-up funds and drive to put their business on the map.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The model tagged Enhancing Rural Youth Advancement through Entrepreneurship (ERYAE) was started by the organization to tackle unemployment as well as create measures to empower youths; In the first phase of the program ERYAE delivered a comprehensive package of services including skills training, business development & mentoring to young people ages 17-30. It aimed to equip 500-1000 rural youth by 2018 with the skills & knowledge necessary to capitalize on economic opportunities & increase their income. The second phase of the program, ERYAE 2.0 is based on the successes and lessons learned from the first phase. ERYAE 2.0 will work with an additional 1,500 youth and include new geographies, this phase will run through September 2019. A key component of the ERYAE 2.0 model is sustainability. The program will develop the capacity of system actors: local public and private sector partners to enable them to take on key functions of the model so that that the impact can be sustained.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Results of Phase 1 Program A total of 450 young men and women have successfully graduated from the ERYAE program. The majority of ERYAE alumni are engaged in gainful employment. They have increased their incomes by an average of 76 percent, with 64 percent now saving regularly; a nine-fold increase from before the training program. Of the beneficiaries who have completed training, 21 percent are currently running small and micro scale enterprises, 29 percent are engaged in agriculture, 9 percent have found wage employment and 2 percent have returned to school. Overall, ERYAE has helped participants become better equipped to find employment, to establish or enhance businesses and to provide reliable sources of income for themselves and their families. As a comprehensive package of youth employment services, ERYAE represents a model and important learning opportunity for future youth intervention programs.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Prior to when the program started, modalities for fund raising was issued to different organization informing them of the ERYAE program. The program was able to raise funds from different private and public bodies, they include - Other NGOs (non-profit organization) - Redeemed Christian of God (RCCG) (religious organization) - Duncan Investment (private business: real estate & agriculture) - Other individuals The funds obtained was channeled into educating youths and financing their proposed business in the market place. The program estimated the following annual budget from the following sources: they include 1. Individual donations or gifts: N150,000 2. Grants: N250,000 3. Cooperate contributions: N167,276 4. Earned Income: N100,000 5. Others: N75,000

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Other organizations with their program looks at how much impact they can make by creating awareness through training & skills acquisition What we do as a team is to generate model through which each participant follows to success, we push through the training session as well take them through real life scenarios, match them with organizations of their field for proper training sessions and market their ideas to other business teams (both private & public) who in turn sponsor and mentor them.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

In 2011, when i will got admitted into the prestigious Federal University of Technology, Minna: by then my main objective was to graduate with a first class honors in Geography/Meteorology, when i got to my 300 level my orientation changed abruptly, i realized that making an impact in life takes much more than reading and cramming to acquire a degree, it takes setting up goals, having a plan and taking desperate action. From then i set out to train people about investing in their own businesses. its really difficult to setup your own business in Nigeria here, most people believe that all they require to start a business is funds and that why most people never get to achieve anything in life. We had to make people understand that if you have N10,000 and you can't make use of it impact-fully, you will never succeed even if you had N10,000,000.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Social media


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