UN agencies launch youth entrepreneurship and self-employment campaign to boost transition towards decent work

  • June 27, 2017

  • New York, USA

Today, on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises International Day, we celebrate youth’s leadership in creating businesses and jobs all over the world.

Young women and men are shaping our present and future, transforming societies and accelerating progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Youth’s creativity, innovation and drive are translating business ideas into solutions for inclusive and economic growth, but their achievements hinge on the opportunities available for young women and men to engage in decent work across the globe.

Seventy million youth are without a job globally and what-is-more, over 150 million youth work, yet live in moderate or extreme poverty. This challenge can only be met with a strong and resolute response.

In response to this challenge, the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth was launched by the United Nations system to scale up action and impact on youth employment. It is a unique platform to join forces – within and beyond the UN system – to tackle the challenge and assist Member States in delivering on a crucial goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Under the aegis of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth five entities of the United Nations system are launching a global campaign that explores the value of entrepreneurship and self-employment to boost youth’s transitions towards decent work.

Under the theme "Youth Entrepreneurship & Self-employment", the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are launching a global campaign to promote actions needed to effectively enable young entrepreneurs to succeed and improve the sustainability and quality of self-employment opportunities for youth.

From June to August 2017, the campaign will focus on solutions to address the unique obstacles that prevent young entrepreneurs from accessing the entrepreneurial world. The lack of enabling policy and ecosystems, the limited access to capital, the insufficient tools to enhance skills development and knowledge transfer are the main challenges to be addressed.

In particular, the campaign will focus on:

  1. Dedicated strategies for the promotion of youth entrepreneurship and self-employment to create an enabling regulatory environment.
  2. The role of networks, peer-to-peer support, access to information and access to technology in facilitating success for youth-led enterprises
  3. Access to finance and its crucial role in boosting viable and sustainable business and jobs; and
  4. The opportunities available from support systems tailored to the business cycle.

Join us to advocate for more and better jobs for youth and the opportunities that result from youth-led entrepreneurship.