The big threat to Africa’s future is the fact that its economic growth translated into growth for 20-30% of the population.Africa will experience a population explosion this century, and it will be a very young population: abig part is now between 20 and 35. Young energetic people with high ambitions, but often living in extreme poverty in rural areas.Continuouslylooking for opportunities to build a better future.
Thoughurbanizationis a trend in many African countries, agriculture is still the main key to foodsecurity, prosperity and employment. Yet we see a mayor lack in support in rural areas. Most development aid is centered around the capital cities and focusedon urban youth.
Therefore, in order to support youth into prosperity, SPARK sets op Rural Business Support Centres (RBSC's). In these centres we facilitate youth and women in their agribusiness activities throughout the whole value chain, with the main aim to improve the access to new markets.
Youth and women come to the RBSC's for support in starting a new businesses, growth of existing businesses, training, coaching, access to information, markets and finance. The entrepreneurs not only receive direct support from trained staff targeting their specific needs but we also actively link them with potential partners, clients, banks and peers (through peer-to-peer learning).
In order to embed our intervention strongly into the rural societies, SPARK always works with strong local partner organisations (youth and women associations, universities, business incubators, processors, traders, etc) when setting up the structure and procedures of a RBSC. We aim to build the capacities of local partners so that the work of the RBSC can later be completely transferred to them, enabling local ownership and sustainability, long after SPARK leaves a region.