Synapse Center works to actively tackle Senegal’s high unemployment rate by organizing intensive training for the next generation of entrepreneurs and social ventures.

Supported Program: Senegal Promise 

Partnership Period: 2013 - 2014


To create opportunities for 60 youth to develop the knowledge, skills, and perspectives they need to create viable social enterprises. 

A vibrant hub for commerce in West Africa, Dakar is home to some of the strongest educational institutions in the region. However, the youth unemployment rate in Senegal is approximately 13 percent, with an additional 40 percent engaged in the informal economy. This is partly due to the fact that their academic training does not adequately prepare young people to translate theories learned in the classroom into practical application.

Senegal Promise seeks to bridge this gap, and address the countries high youth employment rate, by offering knowledge, practice, and immersion in a nurturing environment that encourages socially responsible enterprises. The program combines training, networking, observation, and hands-on practical application to channel the energy and creativity of select young entrepreneurs and students into viable economic enterprises that are sustainable and socially impactful. Promise fellows work across sectors, including education, agribusiness, and technology.

The Results

  1. 60 young people received ongoing entrepreneurship trainings.
  2. 12 youth were selected for more intensive incubation, receiving the tools, resources, and mentorship they need to turn their ideas into viable enterprises.

So What?

In light of rampant joblessness, Synapse is making practical business skills accessible to driven young people, and in turn letting them create opportunities for themselves and re-invent the purpose of business and development in their country. The organization integrates social responsibility into the planning and modeling of enterprises, ensuring the next generation of business leaders also tackle social problems.