Youth Entrepreneurship and Unemployment in Rwanda

How might we connect and enhance collaboration among young entrepreneurs to address youth unemployment in Rwanda?

Location: Kigali, Rwanda



Youth unemployment is a challenge around the globe, and in Rwanda, addressing this issue has become a national priority. According to the Labour Force Survey Trends Report by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, one in three 16-24 years olds have dropped out of school but are not employed or pursuing additional technical training. Women in urban areas are also more likely to be unemployed or underemployed.

There are 125,000 first-time job seekers entering the labour market each year. With 396,000 waged jobs in the formal economy, the size of the working-age population continues to outpace job creation.

Additionally, unemployment rates among Rwandans who have completed upper secondary or tertiary education are double those with no education, suggesting a mismatch between the needs of the job market and the skills of the population.

Next Steps

YLabs is currently working with women and men in Rwanda to explore new ways of connecting young entrepreneurs to address youth unemployment. We are currently in the design research phase of the project and using expert interviews, co-design workshops, and focus groups with entrepreneurs and unemployed youth to envision and prototype potential solutions.

In 2019, we will continue to gather, measure, and act on qualitative research in partnership with young people between the ages of 18 and 35, as well as employers, parents, key stakeholders, and the wider community. By exploring a range of solutions and disseminating findings early and often, we aim to generate evidence and drive innovation to address youth unemployment in Rwanda.

If you are interested in learning more about this innovative project, please contact us here.