GIZ – Youth employment

A new project was awarded by GIZ to Sense which aimed to identify business models that are profitable and provide meaningful, well-paying jobs for rural youth and women in large numbers.

The project also aimed to identify the kinds of skills necessary to work in these businesses or to manage them, so that formal education could be adapted or improved to address these skills. Four countries were involved in the project: Malawi, Kenya, Mozambique, and Burkina Faso.

Project Background.

The project identified potential employment opportunities for women and youth in rural Kenya, Malawi, Burkina Faso and Mozambique that could be supported by the new GIZ global project.

These are the specific objectives that we have identified:

  • Finding business models that provide meaningful, well-paid jobs to rural women and youth in large numbers.
  • Documentation of these business models included activities, products and services sold, variable and fixed costs, profitability, capital investment, and number and type of jobs created.
  • Estimate the number of jobs that could be created by supporting each of these business models. This was calculated by looking at the number of jobs per business and the number of businesses that can be developed.
  • Determine what kind of skills are required for employment in our management of these businesses, so that formal education can be improved.

By focusing on the demand side of the integrated employment approach, the project provided clear guidance for which value chains, business models, or activities within the value chain to focus on over the next few years. Additionally, the project focused on identifying the skills required as part of the integrated employment approach


The Sense team used a four-step methodology to achieve its project goals:

  • A desk research project included finding and analyzing the existing reports to determine which value chains would be most effective in creating high-paying jobs in rural areas. To develop commercial business models, the team analyzed 15 different value chains for each country and selected 10 of the most relevant value chains.
  • The quick value chain analysis included visiting four countries and had two main objectives: a) identifying the main issues and opportunities in selected value chains, and b) identifying the business model for each of those selected value chains.
  • Documentation of the identified business models, including the development of economic and financial models. Business models provided an overview of the market opportunity, calculation of the required capital investment and investment payback period, as well as a summary of the technical skills and training required for the implementation of the models.

Main Findings/Insights. 

  • In all four countries, the poultry value chain had the greatest potential for creating rural jobs with high wages.
  • In the poultry value chain, two business models showed the largest potential for the development of commercial business models (small/medium sized live chicken farms and medium sized table egg farms).
  • In the poultry value chain, the required investment per business model is small and the payback period is short. For instance, setting up a good quality live chicken farm in Kenya costs about 3,000 EU and creates two to three full-time jobs.
  • Implementing the business models in the poultry value chain does not require complex technical skills. A short term course in poultry management, veterinary care, and feed preparation is sufficient to teach farmers how to manage their poultry farms.
  • As poultry meat demand has increased in all four countries, there is a good opportunity for local chicken meat producers.
  • Other business models that create high value jobs in rural areas include: (mechanization services, rural input dealers, nursery businesses, orchard maintenance services)
  • Implementing the business model successfully requires access to finance, good quality training, and agricultural extension services.


Client: GIZ (German Development Corporation)

Location:  Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi and Burkina Faso.

Project:  Global Project Employment in rural areas with a focus on youth

Value Chain: Multiple (poultry, cashew, fruit, mechanization, irrigation, nursery, seed and seedlings)