Hivos LEAD program in North Africa extended: 2020-2023

February 5, 2020

Hivos is proud to announce that the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has granted Hivos four more years of funding from its Local Employment for Development (LEAD) program. The main goal is to generate income for youth by creating sustainable jobs that offer decent work directly to young people. We aim to create 9000 jobs and support 350 social enterprises from now through the end of 2023 in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

Boosting Bottom-Up Societal Transformation

The extension will build on our BOOST program (Boosting Bottom-Up Societal Transformation, 2016-2019) that worked through local partner organizations and coworking spaces, mainly in medium-sized towns. It identified and supported young local social entrepreneurs who were creating employment for other young people. Our local partners stepped in to offer technical assistance, along with funding from Hivos, to either start or scale these enterprises.

More than 5,000 young women and men have been employed as a direct result of Hivos’ LEAD intervention.

At the end of four years of LEAD, Hivos successfully achieved the targeted results of the program and spearheaded the coworking and collaborative spaces movement in the region. In 2015, Hivos supported the first two spaces in Egypt and Tunisia. Today, Egypt and Tunisia alone have no less than 150 coworking and other collaborative spaces with no fewer than 30 spaces directly supported by Hivos.

More than 5,000 young women and men have been employed as a direct result of Hivos’ LEAD intervention. Hivos has also succeeded in helping more than 330 young women and men start up their own business and helped more than 200 businesses scale their operations. Our partners and supported spaces secured more than 3 million euros of funding from other funders (GIZ, USAID, MEPI and the EU amongst others) to scale activities initiated through LEAD’s support.

Building on experiences with LEAD since 2016, we now plan to complement and scale the initiatives created through BOOST. We can rely on the extensive network built over the past four years to ensure maximum impact return, both short-term and in the form of long-term sustainability.

Sustainable jobs for young women and men

Hivos also intends to focus on creating decent job opportunities for young women and men in sectors we identify as “future proof”, including those within the green and digital economies. Our strategies achieve this include:

  • sourcing innovative market-based solutions
  • building the capacities of local intermediaries to create jobs and engage in private sector development activities
  • spurring the growth potential of local enterprises (upscaling)
  • strengthening future-proof skills among young people (“upskilling”) and tackling the mismatch between supply and demand in local labor markets (matchmaking)

The extension of LEAD, like its predecessor, targets women in particular. It targets a minimum of 50 percent women amongst its beneficiaries, whether they are entrepreneurs starting or scaling their social enterprises or young women trying to find a job. To meet this objective, all partners and sub-contractors will be required to dedicate between 5 and 15 percent of their budget for women inclusion activities.

As Ahmed Sameh, Program Manager of BOOST and its extension explains, “With the new total budget of 9.3 million euros, we think we can make serious inroads in the high unemployment, and lack of financing opportunities that prevent young people – particularly women and marginalized groups in remote areas – from developing their full potential. We also believe that by focusing on supporting the green and digital economies, we will create jobs that are future proof, i.e. deemed relevant for more than five years to come and that contribute to climate change reversal efforts.”