Children's Involvement in Small Business : Does it Build Youth Entrepreneurship?

"This brief summarises the findings of a study, conducted in Tanzania in 2006, that examined how children's work in small businesses impacts the development of their entrepreneurship. The study revealed that the participation of children in small businesses is largely influenced by push factors, particularly the lack of educational opportunities and alternative occupational activities. However, the small businesses had, in the short run, little influence on the development of children's entrepreneurial talents, though a proportion of respondents felt that the businesses were educative. Limited ownership, lack of participation in decision making and low levels of satisfaction in their businesses were cited by most children interviewed. Three major findings emerge from the study : First, access to the secondary school needs to be expanded and complementary strategies devised to keep children from dropping out of school. Second, existing educational and youth employment policies and small business development strategies should be integrated to ensure that children are given adequate life and vocational skills to support themselves when they leave school. Third, the government and communities need to nurture and support the aspirations of the young people."