Chapter 2: Youth Enterprise Development

Entrepreneurship has the potential to transform young people’s lives and reinvigorate local economies. The Youth Enterprise Development (YED) sector encompasses a range of programs and policies designed to encourage, prepare, and support young people as they engage in all types of entrepreneurship—from small-scale income-generating activities to “growth-oriented” enterprises with the potential for expansion and employment. Being entrepreneurial is also a widely-recognized asset for young employees. Companies are increasingly looking for those who bring entrepreneurial mindsets to the workplace. At Making Cents International’s 2012 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference, participants discussed a range of efforts that are taking place around the world to support youth entrepreneurship.

Stakeholders in the YED field are engaged in a dialogue both about innovation on a large-scale—such as new approaches—as well as less dramatic, yet equally important, adaptations or innovations at a smaller scale that are critical to improving the quality of interventions. These innovations keep the sector current with respect to changes in the global enterprise ecosystem.