In collaboration with local partners we provide young people with the tools they need to succeed in regions affected by conflict, climate crisis, and displacement. Together with our local partners we implement six services that empower students and entrepreneurs to study, work and grow their own businesses.
Entrepreneurship Summer Courses
Twenty five years ago, a group of Dutch students from Amsterdam travelled to the Western Balkans during the Bosnian war and set up summer courses for fellow students. Since then, SPARK has been developing and implementing summer courses in fragile and conflict affected regions around the world.
Business Support Centres
A Business Support Centre (BSC) is a physical space with well-trained staff who both coordinate the activities of the BSC and directly support entrepreneurs through various programmes. The BSC supports startups and existing businesses in business training, coaching, access to information and finance.
In areas with high youth unemployment rates, SPARK uses internships to address the gaps in the skills of young people and their access to jobs. Gaining the necessary ‘employability skills’ is difficult for young people, especially in conflict-affected or fragile regions because higher education institutes do not provide adequate training.
With the aim to build a well educated, job-ready workforce of future leaders, SPARK provides higher (vocational) education scholarships to young, vulnerable youth (mostly Syrian refugees) in the Middle East. Our scholarships are tailored to local labour market needs and we partner with local organisations.
Rwanda’s agricultural cooperatives are becoming major actors in the economic growth of the country. Their increasingly important role has been recognised by local ministries, whereas originnally, cooperatives were seen as simply groups of farmers cooperating voluntarily, without a clear structure.