Iringa Youth Entrepreneurship Competition (IYEC) is the business idea competition established by Tujiajiri NGO to create and foster youth enterprises in Iringa region that will increase local youth employment. The competition is focused on Iringa residents especially youth and women, encouraging them to develop effective business ideas. The competition is focused on determining good and effective business ideas, followed by developing those ideas by working with the creators/ innovators of the respective business ideas. The competition is based on creative and innovative business ideas generated by youth in Iringa region, which comprises of four (4) districts: Iringa Rural, Iringa Urban, Kilolo and Mufindi.
The IYEC is a competition for youth in Iringa region on Business ideas and entrepreneurs skills from emerging economies districts. Aspiring innovators (youth and women) submit their ideas by startups online in an application consisting of an executive summary of the idea and the actual business idea description. Their applications are then reviewed by experts and voted on by the judges who are experts in specific fields, in order to determine the finalists. Thirty finalists receive an all-expense paid trip to Iringa town (IYEC) so as they can showcase their ventures and also receive intensive training.
IYEC is appropriate for youth who are interested in starting their own business or who live in areas with either an unstable formal economy or an un-established informal sector. It offers valuable skills through innovation and development of business ideas that can be applied in various life pursuits.
Established in 2014, IYEC, which is supported by private businesses, investors, foundations, colleges and universities, public entities, and nonprofit organizations, experiences good development in terms of local community participation in different organization such a programs like entrepreneurship Trainings and effective resources utilization.
According to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) In Tanzania, about 800,000 people enter the labor market each year, yet the government is only able to absorb around 40,000, which is only about 5 percent of the newly available workforce.
Iringa Youth Entrepreneurship Competition (IYEC) is appropriate for youth who are interested in starting their own business or who live in areas with either an unstable formal economy or an un-established informal sector. It offers valuable skills that can be applied in various life pursuits. Whether or not they start a business, youth who will participate IYEC program and receive one week comprehensive entrepreneurship training program gain:
• Leadership and management skills
• Business management skills
• Networking experience
• Knowledge about money and financing
• Critical thinking skills
• Planning and development skills
Youth entrepreneurs exhibit many of the same characteristics as adult entrepreneurs: vision, determination, risk taking, resilience, problem solving, and creativity. They are full of new ideas, willing to collaborate with others, and eager to make a positive difference. Capitalizing on their ingenuity can foster strong programs and productive businesses, while positively changing their lives, their communities, and the local economies.
While all new entrepreneurs face challenges, youth entrepreneurs confront particular difficulties. Tujiajiri NGO research has shown that youth-led businesses often lack:
· Diversity—business activities are often within a narrow range of sectors
· Access to suitable office, production, or retail space
· Job creators mindsetPublic support ( conducive public youth development policy)