Boosting youth employment through entrepreneurship: a response to the national youth development agency

Can the creative energies of South Africa’s young people be turned into one of the country’s greatest assets, and a source of economic growth and prosperity? The new National Youth Development Agency will have to prioritise its interventions. South Africa’s enormous unemployment challenge is particularly concentrated among the country’s youth. This SBP Alert argues that a strong focus on entrepreneurship should be among the NYDA’s top priorities. It should operate as a facilitator and catalyst, enabling social partners – from community groups to corporations – to develop practical and effective programmes to build the culture, skills, operating environment and networks necessary to support entrepreneurial growth. We suggest that this might be achieved through creation of a dedicated grant mechanism, managed by the NYDA, on the basis of competitive tendering and clear, outcome-focused selection criteria.