Local Employment in Africa for Development (LEAD)
Cherifa Soltani from Tunisia is one of the existing beneficiaries of the LEAD programme. In 2016 and 2017, she received a series of training in business planning, administration, human resource management, legislation, and financing. Today, Cherifa has been elected as the President of the first women's cooperative established through LEAD, and actively participates in different regional fairs and expos.
By developing business ideas, providing training and coaching, and supporting access to finance, LEAD establishes new businesses in Libya, Tunisia and Somalia. Young entrepreneurs (especially women) and existing SMEs leave the programme with the technical skills required and the capacity to grow through facilitating access to markets, technical/soft skills training, and finance.
LEAD also seeks to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in the countries by engaging with local authorities, NGOs, private sector organisations and other relevant stakeholders as a way of strengthening existing entrepreneurship structures. Collaboration has also been initiated with academic institutions to instil a knowledge of entrepreneurship in public education. By creating sustainable job opportunities for young people, SPARK addresses instability, irregular migration and radicalisation.