The contribution of incubation programmes to youth employment creation: a case of Sokoine university graduates entrepreneurs cooperative, Morogoro, Tanzania
Sokoine University of Agriculture
Globally, youth employment is a major issue with remarkable differences within regions and Tanzania is among the Sub-Saharan African countries facing youth unemployment. However, at times it is claimed that the youth are to be blamed for being lazy and less creative. But in reality, the youth are willing to work if a conducive environment is created to make them work or be innovative. Generally, incubation programmes are identified as sources of employment creation, wealth generation at local and national level and reduction of poverty in general. Incubation programmes generate a conducive environment for entrepreneurs at the early stage of lunching a venture by helping an entrepreneur reduce costs associated with starting a business venture. In addition, incubation increases confidence and capacity and linking the entrepreneur to the resources required to start an enterprise. Sokoine University Graduates Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) is one of the incubation Programmes which offers selected participants an exciting opportunity to be mentored through the Youth Entrepreneur Incubation program located at Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro. Therefore, the study aimed at evaluating how the SUGECO Incubation programme has been successful in enabling its incubatees not only to be self-employed but, also create employment for others. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design and a mixed methods approach whereby both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from SUGECO incubation center and its incubatees. A total of 88 respondents from SUGECO participated in the study, 43 males and 45 females. Primary data were collected using a questionnaire and in-depth interviews. Data collected through the questionnaire was coded and analyzed using IBM SPSS whereby descriptive statistics and inferential statistics were determined. Generally, study findings show that SUGECO supports young entrepreneur’s development and job creation in Tanzania. In addition, SUGECO transforms the minds of the youth using a business model that activates their innovative behavior, thus, making them more creative and entrepreneurial which in turn stimulate agribusiness development and creation of employment. The findings also show that SUGECO offers a variety of trainings which equip the incubatees with business management and employment skills. However, findings also show that SUGECO faces a number of challenges which include inadequate funding, lack of commitment among the incubatees, unsupportive government policies, quality of entrepreneurs and location specific challenges. Furthermore, binary logistic regression results show that out of the nine independent variables entered into the model only two variables i.e marital status and being trained in agribusiness were significantly (P≤ 0.05) associated with youth employment creation. Nonetheless, findings show that the graduates faced some challenges, the critical being lack of start-up capital. Other challenges faced are poor commitment, inadequate market access, insufficient working equipment and poor infrastructure, lack of confidence and patience, land access and poor supervision and coaching. Therefore, it is recommended that SUGECO adheres to its predefined criteria when selecting incubatees so as to recruit only the committed ones. In addition, the Government of Tanzania and Non-Governmental organizations such as should collaborate and place more support to promote SUGECO Agribusiness Incubation programme as it has show the potential for youth’s employment creation and poverty reduction.
Incubation programmes, Youth employment creation, Entrepreneurs cooperative, Morogoro, Tanzania