We Can Work

Towards 1.000.000 young women and men with disabilities with dignified and fulfilling work

Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya Light for the World Mastercard Foundation 2022-2023
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Young women and men empowered to lead the change

The We Can Work program, funded by Mastercard Foundation, will impact the lives of at least 1,000,000 young women and men with disabilities and enable them to access dignified and fulfilling work and participate in society as respected economic actors in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda. We will effect change at the level of individuals (including households and communities), organizations and institutions. This change will be driven by a generation of young, transformative leaders with disabilities acting as change agents.

The Numbers

Stats & Progress

We like to keep track of our progress and overal impact:


Young women and men with fulfilling work




Years of implementation


Crosswise Works Contribution

The Challenge

Matching African youth with jobs or entrepreneurial opportunities is especially important given the relatively rapid economic growth over the past 20 years which has not yet translated into employment opportunities for youth. The large majority of Africa’s 226 million working age youth experience great difficulty in transitioning into decent employment - 70% of the youth in Sub-Saharan Africa are thus under-employed and considered to be part of the “working poor.”

Technical advisor

The Next Economy aims to provide support to motivated young people lacking access to decent work and opportunities by means of skills training, on-the-job-support and business incubation training. Ultimately, these aim to generate jobs through internships and supporting start-ups.

The Partnership

By working with various hubs, employability organisations, the private sector and government, the program aims to match youth ambitions and career goals with needs and opportunities in the labour market. SOS Children’s Villages is the lead partner in this consortium. The Next Economy is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Opportunity

The Next Economy creates jobs and opportunities for young people in challenging contexts. In its initial iteration from 2016 to 2019, 1251 decent jobs have been created. The second phase of the program (2020-2023) aims to create and sustain another 2108 direct decent jobs and train 5150 young people in life skills, employability, and entrepreneurship.


We work together with local hubs & SOS Children’s Villages

In Bamako, Lagos, Abuja, Jos, Hargeisa and Mogadishu we work with Impact Hub Bamako, FATE Foundation, Wennovation, Aspilos, Black Innovations Africa, Shaqodoon, HarHub and IITE (Simad University).

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Responsible Impact Manager

Get in touch with Malou

For more information about the work we do within The Next Economy, please contact Malou or feel free to visit our website:

Email Malou The Next Economy
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