Digit researchers have authored a new report on the opportunities for entrepreneurship afforded to young people by digital retail platforms for the International Organisation of Employers.
‘Digital Entrepreneurship on Retail Platforms: A way to formalise employment for young people in Nigeria and the UK‘ was authored by Ayomikun Idowu, Monica Richards and Jacqueline O’Reilly. It investigates the opportunities and barriers digital retail platforms offer to enable young people’s entrepreneurship as a sustainable and formal income stream in Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK).
The report outlines how digital retail platforms can alleviate high levels of youth unemployment and provide sources of more formalised sustainable income and skills for them in the future. It also illustrates how these developments are becoming part of a wide entrepreneurial ecosystem in each country which can cross over between different platforms and the boundaries between the personal and public personas of the sellers involved.
The study found that, like any entrepreneurial endeavours, success and income depend on the sellers’ degree of engagement in terms of time and resource commitment. In Nigeria, this offers young people a sustainable source of income at different levels. Students make themselves independent while they study and plan to scale up after graduation; others have moved into selling full-time.
In the UK, only those who can break through as “top sellers” feel it is sustainable; others see it as a part-time role and a way to supplement their income, but they are not confident in transitioning to a full-time role without a guaranteed income.
The report draws on research funded through Digit’s Innovation Fund.
Read the report
Find out more about the research project