PRESENTATION: Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship: A Guide for Policymakers and Youth Leaders, Sep 2016
Unemployment is the most critical challenge that young people in all parts of the Commonwealth confront today. The challenge is particularly acute in developing countries where jobs in the organized sector are few and far between, while those in the informal sector are often unstable, unsafe and poorly paid. It is therefore imperative for governments and stakeholders to identify and promote alternative pathways to sustainable livelihoods if they are to fulfil the aspirations and potential of their young people. Empowering young people to consider entrepreneurship as their vocation has to be a critical component of such a strategy.
Over many years the Commonwealth Secretariat has made concerted efforts to encourage youth entrepreneurship as a pragmatic strategy to address spiralling youth unemployment and to positively harness young people’s potential. This has included the Commonwealth Youth Credit Initiative, which formed the basis of a number of national youth entrepreneurship programmes; training of government officials in youth entrepreneurship policy and practice; and establishment of networks of young entrepreneurs in Asia, Caribbean and East and Southern Africa. These Commonwealth Alliances of Young Entrepreneurs (CAYE) are now championing and driving stronger youth entrepreneurship ecosystems. The role of young entrepreneurs as agents of positive change and creators of jobs in their communities and countries, is increasingly recognised.
Recently, in order to assist governments in member countries to create an enabling environment in which youth entrepreneurship can flourish, the Commonwealth Secretariat, in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), has developed a Policy Guide on Youth Entrepreneurship. The Policy Guide on Youth Entrepreneurship can play an important role in supporting Commonwealth member governments to create environments that are optimal for youth entrepreneurship to flourish, including development of partnerships and networks across sectors (private and public) to achieve collective impact.
The objective of this breakout session is to:
Provide an overview of the policy guide and its relevance to policy makers in developing and implementing a national youth entrepreneurship strategy
Highlight the critical role that young entrepreneurs and their networks can play in creating environments that are optimal for youth entrepreneurship to flourish – with CAYE as a case study
Share key learning and implication for policy makers - findings from Youth Business International’s (YBI) Global Programming Evidence and Learning Review 2013-16.
Sushil Ram, Programme Manager, Youth Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat (UK)
Erica Wynter, Vice Chair, Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAYE) (Jamaica)
Giancarlo Angelucci, Evidence & Learning Manager, Youth Business International (YBI) (UK)