Wendy Chelgat at her store in Nairobi, Kenya. Wendy participated in The Mastercard Foundation partnership with CAP Youth Empowerment Institute.

Youth Think Tank: Supporting Small-Scale Entrepreneurs 

The Youth Think Tank is a research group made up of young people from the Foundation’s networks. In partnership with Restless Development, it trains and mentors young people to conduct research, collect evidence, and document youth needs, challenges, and aspirations. 

In 2020 the Youth Think Tank developed research asking the question “how can development practitioners, policymakers, and academics better support small-scale entrepreneurs to expand their businesses and create employment opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa?”  

Key Findings  

  • Young people can be a part of the solution to the employment challenge when supported to do so.  
  • With support, young entrepreneurs can better understand their markets before seeking business opportunities.  
  • Young entrepreneurs can grow their businesses by building their competitive advantage.  
  • Young entrepreneurs need access to tailored skill-building opportunities and financial capital from trusted sources to grow their businesses.
  •   Young entrepreneurs are building their resilience to COVID-19 and adapting their businesses to the ‘new normal’.