YES Programs



YES Alumni Grant: Entrepreneurship as a Way of Living

Participants in the classroom

By Roberto Artur Manuel (YES 2015-2016, Mozambique, placed with CIEE in Loganville, GA) 

My name is Roberto Artur Manuel, and I spent my YES exchange year in Loganville, Georgia. As a YES alumnus, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the YES Alumni Training of Trainers (ToT) Workshop in Giza, Egypt in September 2018, where I learned techniques and methods to design and implement a workshop.

Volunteer trainer teaching the group about investments
Volunteer trainer teaching the group about investments

When the 2020 YES Alumni Grant opportunity was announced, I saw my chance to apply the knowledge that I acquired from the ToT in Egypt. I worked with my team to design a project aimed at solving a huge problem in my community: the high rate of unemployment. With our alumni grant funds, we designed a workshop for teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 to provide them with key knowledge on how to start their own business.

Entrepreneurship as a Way of Living took place from November 7 to 29, 2020 at Ponta Gêa High School in Beira, Mozambique. The 20 participants were recruited from four high schools. During the sessions, they learned about aspects of entrepreneurship, such as investments and partnerships, leadership, communication, and creating business plans.

Participants brainstorming a business plan
Participants brainstorming a business plan

Since the end of workshop, we have been pleased to see participants applying the knowledge they gained. Some of the participants have started a small business, creating impact in their community. With this project, we hope that we have made a small contribution towards broadening education and the economic growth of our country. 

I want to thank the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) for funding our project. I also want to extend a huge thanks to my project team: Nilza Abade (YES 2017-2018, Mozambique, placed with American Councils in Davenport, IA), Momade Ahamada Taiobo, Orlando José de Castro, Filepe Tomas Jofrice, and Felisberto Carlos Godinho for helping make this workshop happen.

Group photo of the participants
Group photo