Decent Rural Employment

'Business Formalization' training of coaches with ILO


In collaboration with JR Farms, an Africa-based youth-led agribusiness, and the International Labour Organization (ILO), FAO is supporting efforts to enhance the formalization of youth agribusinesses in the Africa region. In May 2021, a joint Fit For Finance training for youth was conducted in Rwanda, where the ILO delivered an online training session on Business Formalization for Rwandese youth agripreneurs. Participants consisted of a group of 20 young women and 20 young men who were selected from over 1000 applications.

The Business Formalization training has been further replicated under the Green Agribusiness Fund (GAF) 2021 Academy, an initiative led by JR Farms and supported by FAO and the ILO, which aims to provide funding, capacity building, mentorship, and access to market networks to selected youth-led and socially responsible agribusinesses in various parts of Africa. As business formalization is essential for the growth and sustainability of these enterprises, the ILO delivered a 5-hour training module on business formalization to the 80 selected youth agripreneurs from several African countries (Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia) during the GAF Academy (13 September – 02 November 2021).

To complement the training sessions mentioned above, the ILO, JR Farms, and FAO decided to collaborate on a training programme for coaches on business formalization who could then accompany young agripreneurs through their formalization journey. A pool of coaches on business formalization was identified in Rwanda and Uganda, either belonging to organizations already engaged in youth agripreneurship support (proposed by FAO) or young agripreneurs themselves (proposed by JR Farms). In the case of Nigeria, only young agripreneurs proposed by JR Farms were trained as coaches.

Overall, around 20 coaches have been trained by the ILO during the period October-December 2021, going through the following steps:

  1. Pre-course individual assignment, through which the coaches gathered some basic information on formalization requirements in their respective countries;
  2. Online group training sessions, with the ILO guiding the coaches on how to develop and finalise coaching frameworks that are adapted to each national context;
  3. Post-course assignments for coaches to further fine-tune the coaching framework, in particular by piloting the use of the framework with at least 1 agripreneur per coach. 

Following the training of coaches, an actual coaching programme for youth agripreneurs will be rolled out in Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria in the first half of 2022 and involve up to 50 informal entrepreneurs per country. In the case of Uganda and Rwanda, the young agripreneurs will be selected among the ICA programme beneficiaries that have not yet formalized their businesses and have interest in doing so in the near future.