Y outh Agripreneurs activities are not intended to be open-ended but rather to reorient and cycle interns through experiential learning and assist them to become agribusiness persons. This process requires 18 months for Youth Agripreneurs startups, slightly less for existing groups.
In general the agribusiness incubation timeline is 18 months with quarterly steps. Before the start a host organization is selected, Youth Coordinator trained and interns appointed. Youth Agripreneurs training materials are developed by IITA and other Youth Agripreneurs and employed through a series of short courses.
By Month 4, elections are held, rotating tasks assigned and interns are fully engaged in all areas of the core group enterprises. This mode continues for six months, building confidence and skills in agribusiness, and allows for teams of like-minded interns to consolidate.
At Month 10, interns begin to develop detailed business plans and loan applications, an activity reinforced by a series of visits from mentors. Interns are expected to fulfill their responsibilities to core enterprises and organizational tasks as they prepare their business plans. Youth Agripreneurs officers establish contacts with commercial lenders so that loan officers become aware of the group’s operations, improving creditworthiness of youth associated with the group.
At the culmination of their Agripreneur experience, departing interns are expected to complete their detailed business plans and loan applications, whether as individuals or like-minded partners. Three departure routes are possible in this regard.
The main route: Interns prepare winning business plans and successful loan applications and start their own profitable agribusinesses. This departure may be facilitated through provision of a modest, non-monetary departure package that launches their business and provides collateral for expansion.
The side route: Interns arrange to spin-off the successful Youth Agripreneurs rural enterprises they create during the business incubation process and continue to operate them in an increasingly independent fashion. This route is most appropriate when several interns seek to privatize a successful venture within the group.
The top route: Agripreneurs that were previously unable to find suitable employment now find themselves better positioned to enter the professional agriculture jobs market. This option includes their becoming local product representatives, joining rural development initiatives or becoming government or private extension agents.