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The VYE Scenario: Moving from Job Seekers to Job Creators

Could investing in entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 to 25 be the key to solving employment in 2050?  

According to the ‘Very Young Entrepreneur (VYE) Scenario’ research paper launched by the Anzisha Prize, investments in supporting successful transitions from school and university directly to entrepreneurship can unlock significant employment gains in Africa. 

“There are three distinct scenarios, each with its potential outcomes: maintaining the status quo, leveraging the experience of older entrepreneurs, and nurturing Very Young Entrepreneurs (VYEs),” highlights Nkrumah Mauncho, an Anzisha Venture Partner and an expert in entrepreneurship and leadership development. 

“Despite the longer time horizon required for the VYE Scenario, it holds the promise of more substantial benefits, as young entrepreneurs, despite their lack of experience, have greater potential to impact employment over time.” 

Mauncho delivered the opening remarks on the Youth Entrepreneurship in Nigeria: Shifting Gears Program at FATE Institute’s 9th Annual Policy Dialogue Series on Entrepreneurship.  

In his presentation, he highlighted the critical juncture we find ourselves in underscoring its influence on the upcoming generation and, consequently, on aspiring young business owners.  He justified the need to prioritize investment in VYEs by emphasizing the transformative potential of youth in bringing about meaningful change. 

“Not only do they create their businesses, but they also become employers, fostering a positive ripple effect. To ensure the success of the VYE Scenario, I identified three key stakeholder groups: young Africans with leadership potential, parents and educators influencing career choices, and investors and policymakers providing financial support and conducive policies,” continues Mauncho.  

At Anzisha, we have experienced this first-hand through fellows like Geoffrey Mulei. Mulei’s venture, Tanda is a fintech startup that turns your everyday neighbourhood shop into a one-stop shop for digital financial services. Tanda’s mission is to bring digital financial services closer to over 100 Million underbanked Africans by empowering last-mile agents. 

Geoffrey leads Tanda’s product design and development, and is also responsible for creating and expanding strategic partnerships with service providers and aggregators as well as developing new markets in line with Tanda’s pan-African roadmap. 

The venture has over 50 employees in Kenya, of which 70% are under the age of 25.  
Prior to Tanda, Geoffrey founded Inkisha, one of Kenya’s leading suppliers of eco-friendly packaging for retail and wholesale. 

In conclusion, the VYE Scenario is not just a concept, but a call to action for change – a vision of a future where young Africans transform from job seekers to job creators, with innovation and entrepreneurship at the forefront. The moment to invest in our VYEs is now, and by collaborating, we can rewrite the African narrative for the greater good. 

RESOURCE DOWNLOAD! Register or log in to read this free report where the Anzisha Prize has theorised what the future might hold for very young entrepreneurs in Africa, how entrepreneurship can offer innovative alternatives to drive employment and economic growth in Africa, and what the required inputs from various major stakeholder groups might be to facilitate this.

Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown
Lynn is a content marketer that focuses on brand storytelling through digital platforms. Skilled in a background of web development, search engine optimization and content production, Lynn is excited to utilize over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing to help grow the ecosystems that support Africa’s very young entrepreneurs to ensure their success.

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