The USAID Africa Bureau (USAID/AFR) has commissioned YouthPower Learning to support its education programs seeking to prepare and mentor resource-poor youth in effective entrepreneurship skills, advancing the participation of youth entrepreneurs in national and regional economies. The resulting economic growth and job creation in Africa has the potential to alleviate high levels of youth unemployment in lowest income areas of Africa, support the goals of Prosper Africa (increased trade and investment between USA-Africa) by helping to expand regional economies in Africa, and advance the goals of the Journey to Self-Reliance.

One entrepreneurship theory has emerged that may be well-suited to foster youth entrepreneurship in Africa: effectuation theory. Advanced by Dr. Saras Sarasvathy, effectuation theory promotes skills and approaches to resources and risk-taking that allow people to work from their strengths, at whatever resource level they have at hand. To document current evidence on effectuation models with the aim of understanding their applicability to the African youth context, YouthPower Learning will conduct a review and synthesis of published peer reviewed articles as well as gray literature on effectuation theory and its applications in entrepreneurship training. The literature review will be complemented by key informant interviews (KIIs) and case study site visits to deepen understanding of the experiences of youth entrepreneurs and organizations supporting youth entrepreneurs in implementing effectuation theory.

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