The Creating Off-farm Rwandan Enterprises (CORE) project is a Sweden International Development Agency (SIDA) funded project that seeks to significantly increase the incomes of women and youth by supporting women and youth run cooperatives and entrepreneurial ventures in Nyamasheke and Rusizi Districts. Additionally, CORE is expanding off-farm employment for women and youth through:
- Strengthening the environment for the creation and successful management of women and youth cooperatives;
- Increasing off-farm entrepreneurship among women and youth;
- Increasing access to financial services for women and youth cooperatives and entrepreneurs;
- Improving access to information communication technology for development (ICT4D) services to support marketing and price analysis; and
- Developing community-based and government implemented monitoring systems that are robust enough to estimate impact and to monitor economic growth for the project’s beneficiaries.
What problem CORE Project is addressing
Women and youth face significant barriers to entering the formal labour market, especially the off-farm labor market. The key barriers that women and youth face in increasing their economic opportunities in Nyamasheke and Rusizi districts are:
- Limited access to skills training
- Barriers to empowerment for women
- Limited non-farm collective activity within the districts
- Limited access to market information
- Limited access to financial services for women and youth
- Limited support structures in place for entrepreneurs
- Limited availability of ICT Services within the districts
Figure 1 - CORE Project Area of Intervention
The main goal of CORE project is to significantly increase household off-farm income for women and youth in Nyamasheke and Rusizi districts by 2018.
The key objective of the CORE project is to strengthen the support systems required for the sustained economic development of women and youth. CORE is linking multiple actors within both districts and support them through targeted training, capacity building, and service provision.
Additionally, the project will be built upon World Vision’s empowerment model which seeks to “restore broken relationships for the most vulnerable through transformationaldevelopment” rooted in empowering the most vulnerable with the skills they need to drive their own economic, social, and spiritual futures. The key philosophy that undergirds CORE’s theory of change is that women and youth are an untapped economic resource that can catalyse significant growth in off-farm activities when they are trained, provided with a system that supports economic growth, and provided with the information they need to make rational business decisions.
Aims of CORE Project
The Core project aims at economic and social transformation through transforming the mindset of beneficiaries.
- Outcome 1: Strengthened environment for the creation and successful management of women and youth cooperatives;
- Outcome 2: Increased off-farm entrepreneurship and market-oriented businesses among women and youth;
- Outcome 3: Increased access to and utilization of financial services for women and youth entrepreneurs and for women and youth-run cooperatives;
- Outcome 4: Improved access to and utilization of information technology for youth and women to support off-farm businesses;
- Outcome 5:.Monitoring and evaluation systems strengthened and culture of learning established to increase income for women and youth.
CORE’s Programming Model
CORE’s theory of change in predicated on the idea that women and youth’s household income will improve if: An environment is established that supports off-farm cooperatives; Women and youth are trained and supported in entrepreneurship; Women and youth are provided with financial services to meet their business demands; and There is an increased utilization of ICT4D services among women and youth cooperatives and entrepreneurs. Supporting the entiremodel is a robust M&E system that promotes strong evaluation and learning. Cutting across all outcomes are: The promotion of a pro-environment business practices; Gender equality approach focused on reducing barriers of entry for women and youth; Poverty perspective focusing on addressing the underlying causes of systemic poverty among women and youth; Rights-based approach that reduces barriers of entry for disadvantaged populations. Taken together, this model outlines CORE’s fundamental development approach.