Silvia Correia de Araujo, 26, Dili: ‘The Knua Centre is my second home and it’s the right place to create more young entrepreneurs like myself in Timor-Leste.’
Silvia is a 26-year-old junior professional business trainer at the Knua Juventude Fila-Liman Centre. Silvia became a trainer in September 2017, shortly after the launch of the Knua Centre in August 2017. Silvia’s role at the center is to assist youths who come to the Knua Centre seeking business training and direction.
Silvia trains youths to develop their own business plans. Her role includes making business models, enabling the business registration process and linking youths to potential funding, and connecting young people with the professional business people.
'The youth who come to the center have a lot of ideas. But they lack knowledge about business planning and strategies,' Silvia says.
Silvia also leads business incubation training. These trainings teach youth how to prepare adequate business plans, deal with any business challenges, and participate productively in the economic sector.
‘Knua is at the centre of Dili, it is close to the university and is a hub for youths. It is easy to access as anyone can just walk in. I am lucky that I can talk to everyone who comes to the center and ask them what they are doing. This allows me to share my experience with them,’ she says.
Silvia has her own business, is an example of a successful youth entrepreneur in Dili and is passionate about sharing her story with other youths. She hopes to inspire and expand the reach of the Knua Centre. In Timor-Leste, young people in rural villages do not have information or access to employment opportunities and there is usually a lack of equal opportunities for rural youth.
‘Knua is benefitting lots of young people in Dili however it is my goal to create more Knuas, to facilitate outreach into the municipalities so youths do not have to leave their home municipality to find work,’ Silvia says.
Last month, Silvia hosted a business incubation workshop in Manatuto organized by the Manatuto Youth Center and Secretary of State Youth and Employment. There were 15 youth who participated in the training.
Silvia will host two separate ‘training of trainers’ workshops in the coming months in two different municipalities to build the leadership capacity of youths in Timor-Leste.
The Knua Centre aims to increase the provision of guided training and support for entrepreneurial opportunities. Through sustained efforts as a junior professional business trainer and her high hopes for the expansion of Knua’s reach, Silvia will continue to strive to identify and create employment opportunities for youth.