Egypt Youth Employment (EYE): Economic Empowerment under FORSA Programme

This project aims to contribute to the overall goal of the national Forsa Programme and to support the transition from the conditional cash transfer schemes of “Takaful & Karama".

Project Objectives

The “Egypt Youth Employment: Economic Empowerment under Forsa Programme” is founded on four main outcomes:

  1. The first is an overarching outcome aiming at strengthening strategic partners and institutions, and private sector service providers to empower these players to adopt the implementation of wage employment and self-employment initiatives. This is achieved through capacity building and also evidence creation and dissemination. This outcome aims at enhancing the sustainability of the interventions to help all national partners to scale them up at the end of the project.
  2. Through the second outcome, job seekers will receive dedicated support to enhance their employability skills and increases their chances to access wage employment. This involves enhancing their employability and improving their access to employers. By enhancing supervisory skills and human resource management, factories and other large employers will be able to lower turnover and grow. Promoting apprenticeships will also offer new career prospects and support the growth of small trades businesses. This is combined with financial education so that once youth have an earning capacity they can effectively build financial resilience.
  3. The third outcome will work to enable self-employed women to generate more sustainable, stable incomes when accessing tailored entrepreneurship support. Entrepreneurship development services, other than microfinance, in Egypt are so far tailored to middle and upper classes. A specific focus on females or members of the families benefiting from the asset transfer programme of the national Forsa Programme with small existing or potential projects to have a more sustainable microenterprise, will be targeted for improved income generation. Target women and their families will also be financially educated to hedge against shocks and having to sell their income generating assets in times of crises.
  4. Fourth, the community will be economically empowered by addressing entrepreneurship ecosystems on a broader level. The approach aims at creating and sustaining businesses with good potential for growth and job creation based on economic competitive advantage of the targeted areas. This will include entrepreneurship training and will also involve capacitating business development services (BDS) providers to support with viable business ideas. Supporting new and existing enterprises to survive and to grow will have an effect on job creation in the targeted communities.

Implementing Partners

The project is implemented mainly in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity, and in cooperation with key partners such as: the Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Youth and Sport, and the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) and Egyptian employers’ organizations.
In addition to other entities such as the Federation of Microcredit Institutions, Investors’ Associations, Business Associations, the National Council for Women, the providers of financial and non-financial services, and private sector firms will be partners throughout the implementation of the components of the project.
At the local level, the project will cooperate with local branches of national public institutions, provider of financial and non-financial services, as well as with training providers.

Project Strategy

Building on and aligned with the rationale of the national Forsa programme, the ILO EYE Forsa programme adopts a number of concepts/ approaches as part of its strategy to empower the disadvantaged families from beneficiaries of MoSS’s Takaful and Karama programme (in addition to those who were rejected from the programme, but are in dire need for assistance and support). These concepts and approaches include the following:
  1. Perceiving economic empowerment as part of an integrated package of social protection that includes capacity-building and training activities on employability skills and basic entrepreneurship, and that will not necessarily imply abandoning other social protection schemes already provided.
  2. Promoting public, private collaboration and partnership. The delivery training programmes requires collaboration among a range of ministries, local government, civil society organizations, and the private sector. Such collaboration needs to range from the design of the programme, the delivery of services, and their continuous monitoring and improvement. The combination of efforts will lead to results greater than could be achieved by either alone.
  3. Stimulating local economic development. The programme will need to build on local capacities and comparative advantages. It will need to rely on local capacities that are best able to address needs and opportunities. Economic strengths and opportunities in local economies will need to be captured. The approach intertwines individual development with the broader concept of local community development.
  4. Emphasizing human capital investment. FORSA considers its beneficiaries as the actors of their own empowerment. Enhancing the skills of the target individuals and training them is required to increase opportunities for learning and success. The lack of employment leads to a lack of consumption and spending due to inadequate incomes, and in turn to inadequate savings, which means that individuals cannot invest in training, and would lack the ability to start or grow their own businesses. The training and skills development of targeted individuals to support them on their path towards employment is a key component of the FORSA programme.

Theory of Change

Target Beneficiaries:

Men and women at working age, including in households benefiting from social assistance (including beneficiaries of Takaful and Karama programme). Also, other individuals who had applied to social benefits but did not meet conditions.

Project Outcomes

Outcome 1:

Strengthened partner institutions and CSOs promote wage, self-employment, and entrepreneurship for women and youth;
  • Stakeholders assessed to deliver wage employment and self-employment promotion.
  • Knowledge base of stakeholders enhanced and evidence produced and disseminated.

Outcome 2:

Youth in targeted areas have an increased access to wage employment;
  • Enhanced employability and financial skills.
  • Improved youth transition to sustainable employment through job matching and job retention.

Outcome 3:

Female Self-Employment, teamwork and value chain promoted;
  • Income generating activities supported.
  • Microfinance services improved.

Outcome 4:

Community empowered to support entrepreneurship for the poor, teamwork and value chain;
  • Entrepreneurial skills for targeted communities enhanced.
  • Access to business development services facilitated.