In 2021, WPDI launched a new component of its program in the cross-border regions of Cameroon, Chad, and Gabon. WPDI is partnering with UNESCO to establish a network of 1,800 youths who will act as key players in conflict prevention and peacebuilding there, “The Weavers of Peace”. This project specifically aims to provide 160 youths with intensive training in Business & Entrepreneurship and support them as they establish cooperative social enterprise projects – the component WPDI is implementing partner for.

The project kicked-off in Fall 2021, when WPDI conducted field studies to interview young people and associations in order to adapt our curriculum to the local context of the regions.

The youths were recruited early 2022 and trained in Business & Entrepreneurship skills over the course of three months. During that time, they will receive training about the concepts of social enterprise, how to design a business idea, stock management, basic financial knowledge, and more, ensuring that they will have the knowledge and skills required to successfully start – and maintain – their businesses. They will then gather in groups of 10 to work on their business ideas and pitch them at a Business Plan Competition to be held in the summer.

The 16 winning projects will then receive financial and backstopping support from our Business Bootcamp manager.