Youth Skills Enterprise Initiative - A Zambian Case Study of Micro-enterprise and Micro-credit Support for Street-based Youth

Case study
Date Published: 
Sep 2002

A study of street kids as economic actors

This study represents the work and philosophy of 'Street Kids International (SKI)' and some of its partners. It shares learning from a Zambia-based business start-up project for street youth, where the youth receive funds to realize their business idea.

The document argues that the international community must pay closer attention to street kids as economic actors and not simply as recipients of social welfare directed programming.

The study challenges the following assumptions about street kids:

  • They need to be rescued and protected from work;
  • Formal class room education is the right choice for each child;
  • They are not reliable enough to be trusted with business assets and credit.

SKI works with:

  • Kids to build their capacity to make good choices;
  • Organizations to reach street kids with programs that respect them as young adults who are capable decision-makers;
  • The youth-service sector to train them to understand the particular needs of street kids and work with this group successfully.

The study presents:

  • The experience of the Youth Skills Enterprise Initiative (YSEI);
  • The implications for an organization interested in delivering the 'Street Business Start-up Model' as a program;
  • The model's parameters for implementation;
  • The implementation of the business start-up program's various components and creates a basic outline for the program.

The study concludes by presenting lessons learned by the YSEI and providing decision-making tools.

Case study