Market-Driven Youth Programs and the Bottom Line

Income generating activities & the financial sustainability of youth-workforce development programs
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This technical note presents the experience of two organizations, Fundación Paraguaya and Partners of the Americas, whose youth-workforce development programs actively participate in the market. It explains how income generating activities help ensure market orientation and improve the ability of trainees to find employment.Both programs sell the same goods and services that they train their students to provide. They also sell their own services as effective trainers of youth. These methods have helped these programs to overcome resource constraints and ensure program quality and relevance. They have also helped the programs to achieve their goal of finding jobs for their graduates. The drive to be completely market-driven has had effects beyond the organizations' financial bottom line. It has led to improved quality and relevance of the organizations youth-workforce development programs. The note states that market engagement helps to:

  • Provide a reality check on whether the training provided is valued by the market;
  • Ensure that programs are appropriately designed;
  • Incentivize teachers and trainer to improve their skills and stay abreast of market developments;
  • Identify new market niches or funders;
  • Form links with private-sector actors;
  • Generate funding to cover costs.

About this Publication

By Kehler, M.L., Sanabria, L.F. & Teeple, P.