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Training of youths for effective self-employment practices

Degsew Melak (University of Gondar College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Gondar, Ethiopia)
Beyene Derso (University of Gondar College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Gondar, Ethiopia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 7 September 2022

Issue publication date: 10 May 2023




Currently, there is widespread consensus that training is helpful to the long-term success of business competitive advantages. However, youth continue to invest in various self-employment business options with low quality of short term trainings. The purpose of this study was to understand the competency level, training need and the role of training to business survival.


This study examined the training needs of youth engaged in self-employment and validated its role in sustainable business performance using primary data. To determine training needs, data were analysed using effect size, and probit model was used to understand the predictive validity of training gap to business performance.


This study has strong evidence that youth engaged in self-employment career have low entrepreneurial competency. The findings of this study revealed that there was little effort to narrow skill and knowledge gaps of youth before entry into self-employment. Training deficiencies were reported in business planning, confidence, risk and time management, conflict management, and communications skills. In addition, self-employment business options were starting up their function with insufficient entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. This would have limited businesses' better chance of long-run survival. Training should be given to bridge the knowledge and skill gaps of youth to ensure the long-term survival of their business. Recommendations include: government should allocate budget for youth short term training, relevant stakeholders should also create access to training for youths before and after entry into self-employment.

Practical implications

Small businesses, during start up with sufficient knowledge and skills, have a better chance of long-term survival. Therefore, this study calls for organized training that would be given to youth to bridge their knowledge and skill gaps on certain competency items and to ensure the long-term survival of micro and small enterprises. Relevant stakeholders should also deliberately create access to training for youth before and after entry into self-employment.


To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to provide empirical evidence of measurement of training gap and its effects of training on small business performance. Understanding role of training gap in business performance requires measurement of level of competency and training need in operating self-employment schemes. Validating consequence of level of training needs towards business performance of youth is essential to understand the contribution of skill training in the promotion of self-employment. The predictive validity of training need to business performance enhances our knowledge of the importance of training for small enterprise development. Previous studies focus on real training and its quality, however, fails to link youth self-employment initiatives. The finding of this study provides important insights on how strong skill training is important in supporting long term survival of youth self-employment.



Melak, D. and Derso, B. (2023), "Training of youths for effective self-employment practices", Education + Training, Vol. 65 No. 3, pp. 382-402.



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