Utilizing social media may not be as easy as posting a Twitter feed after an event or developing a Facebook page for an organization. Social media requires a long-term commitment to developing an identity, communicating with an audience, and continuing a two-way conversation with them (see Box 11.2.1). Given the fast-paced nature of social media, the messaging has to be clear and concise.
Intel has found that introducing youth to technology at the same time as showing how their newly acquired skills can be used in employment and entrepreneurship is an effective way to promote entry into the business world. For example, Intel® Learn Technology and Entrepreneurship is a thematic training course that introduces youth to technology skills by introducing concepts of entrepreneurship, then showing youth how the use of various technologies can help them develop their business idea and build a business plan.
Effective promotion of youth economic opportunities through technology will require buy-in from adults as well as young people. Adults need to realize two truths: young people can be qualified candidates for jobs, and technology can be an effective medium to recruit youth for these positions. Souktel has found that in many emerging markets, newspaper and social networks are still thought of as the only way to recruit for open positions—despite the fact that new technologies, like mobile phones, can be far more efficient tools for linking labor supply and demand.
Internet access remains out of reach to millions of young people. Connectivity issues, energy challenges, high costs, and geographic or social isolation all prevent young people from accessing the Internet. Mobile phone ownership though has seen astronomical growth in the past six years. Seventy-six percent of the developing world now uses cell phones, and there are almost six billion mobile-cellular subscriptions around the world.78 Many people can now access banking, news, and market information through their phone.
Technology, and the new types of social connections it has enabled, has transformed many young people’s lives. As Wayan Vota, Senior Director at Inveneo, put it at the 2011 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference, “Technology is the only sector where young people are seen as thought leaders and power brokers.” It has also transformed the lives of entrepreneurs—both young and old who find new ways to access information, start businesses, use financial services, and break through cultural or geographic barriers that previously limited their aspirations.
This brief presents findings that came out of the 2009 AudienceScapes surveys on youth access to financial
information and services in Ghana and Kenya. It aims to provide guidance to the many development organizations
active in financial services and mobile money projects.
In many developed countries, technologies such as mobile phones, computers and the internet are routinely used by young people in education and employment. Most young people are enthusiastic about technology and the benefits it can bring.
The Youth Economic Opportunities learning platform is the first community of practice and knowledge exchange portal developed by and for the youth economic opportunities sector. The online portal offers an open and innovative environment for collaborative and dynamic learning and knowledge sharing around the following technical areas and cross-cutting themes: Workforce Development, Financial Services, Enterprise Development, Gender, and Evaluation & Assessment. We are dedicated to: Connecting and sharing knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned; Exchanging the latest resources, jobs, and funding opportunities; and Impacting the world’s 1.8 billion young people.