ProjectBusiness Booster in Sierra Leone
With the Youth-to-Youth Fund, the Youth Employment Network at the ILO together with UNIDO have provided grants to youth-led organizations. These organizations can apply for support in helping set up youth-led cooperatives. The scheme has proven successful in a number of countries in East and West Africa.
The objective of the "Business Booster" is to explore the potential of a "one-stop-shop" approach that will support the youth-led cooperatives in accessing high-value markets within the country and abroad. This local organization would provide or link to a range of services and including quality and standards testing, processing, packaging and marketing.
Our research showed a significant number of organizations providing capacity building support to farmers in order to enable them to add value to their agricultural products. However very few managed to substantially increase incomes through value addition over an extended period of time. Ideally capacity building for farmers should be focused on farming activities and a third party should be established to specialize in complementary actives such as packaging and creating access to high value markets. Farming cooperatives could then have their products processed by this intermediary for a fee. This would allow farmers to increase their income and the Booster to generate revenues so it support farmers sustainably.