Parks, Youth and Rural Entrepreneurship Exploring possibilities and conditions for youth to succeed in establishing businesses in the Majete project area in Chikwawa district, Malawi
Biggelaar, T. van den
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In the Majete project area in Malawi, communities could no longer rely on the natural resources in the park due to the fencing of the Majete Wildlife Reserve and had to find alternative livelihoods. Since 2011, various economic opportunities have been created by The Hunger Project and African Parks. As (young) people in Malawi heavily depend on self-employment, activities that put youth in the position to start-up a business are conducted. However, while youth have a desire for achieving their entrepreneurial aspirations, the unavailability of, limited access to, and insufficient knowledge about particular infrastructure, blocks this. This research aims to explore possibilities and conditions for youth to succeed in establishing businesses in the immediate vicinity of protected areas. Using the Majete project area in Chikwawa district, Malawi, as a case study. This thesis shows the urgency for youth of access to loans without a need for initial capital, and the adjustments needed to be made to make infrastructure and opportunities, like Village Savings and Loans Associations, dry season and cash crop farming and (vocational) trainings, work for youth. Theoretically, this contributes to literature about youth businesses, empowerment and financial inclusion, in relation with the poverty reduction-biodiversity conservation nexus.