2-23-17  |  Our Programs Partnerships

Business Plans: Changing the Future for our Youth

BY: Elena Aldecoa

Nicaragua has almost 6 million inhabitants, 42% of whom live in rural areas. Its population is predominantly young, with over 60% under the age of 30, and approximately 1.8 million between the ages of 15 and 30 (USAID, 2011). It is estimated that each year 100,000 new Nicaraguan youth become part of the economically active segment of the population and start looking for opportunities in the job market, but only 40,000 are actually able to find a job.

Regrettably, access to secondary schools or technical training centers is often limited by their location and is one of the main reasons there is so few qualified youth. This problem is especially accentuated in the country’s rural communities, where students must walk several miles to get to school. Without qualification or training, young people living in rural communities must subsist on their farming practices, which can only generate subsistence income for their families, or migrate to urban areas in search of a minimum wage-paying job.

Young beneficiaries promote their business plan in San José de Cusmapa

For this reason, Fabretto brings education to the most remote areas, promoting quality technical training programs in secondary and vocational schools that strengthen young students’ skills. In addition, the focus of the programs is to put their learning into practice by kickstarting business initiatives from plans they develop during the course of the school year. Thanks to this type of training, many young people are moving forward and can start to break the cycle of poverty that is so prevalent in Nicaragua.

Fabretto can only develop its educational programs and benefit more than 20,000 children by working with partners like Manos Unidas (United Hands). Currently, a project is being developed that will improve the training of 150 youth aged 13 to 18 in the municipalities of San José de Cusmapa and Las Sabanas through technical agricultural training courses, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. The courses are part of SAT but are also endorsed by INATEC and provide hands-on training with a focus on employability for rural youth with limited resources.

Students receiving their Agricultural Technician degree, endorsed by INATEC

As part of this project, a business challenge contest was held with 26 business initiatives developed by students participating, out of which the 3 best were selected. In addition, a “seedbed of entrepreneurs,” a group of students who have already started micro projects in their communities, has been established. These initiatives will open the door to new economic opportunities, both for the students and their families.

Last week, Raquel Carballo, the Manos Unidas representative in Central America, and volunteer María Luz Amérigo traveled to San José de Cusmapa and Las Sabanas to witness the development of the project first hand. They discussed challenges and opportunities with the youth and were present during a ceremony where the students received labor qualification certificates from INATEC.

Raquel Carballo with SAT students during a field visit.

Raquel Carballo was very surprised by the programs that Fabretto is implementing with the youth, as well as the level of entrepreneurship that these students are achieving. She expressed: “I am delighted that the students are taking advantage of these opportunities to build a better future for themselves.” She also highlighted the fact that women are very well represented in these courses.

If you would like to support our technical training programs and give thousands of young people the opportunity to change their future, donate today.

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