Globally, 9 out of 10 jobs are created by the private sector, a primary driver of economic growth and employment creation. By February 2014, over 600 million young women and men aged 15 to 24 years are neither in school nor receiving training, working or looking for work; over 70 million young women and men are unemployed, and an estimated additional 73.4 million young people worldwide are expected to be out of work.
To achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial development it is thus necessary to invest in a growth-oriented private sector, in its supporting business structures, the civil society and ultimately in young women and men, who often drive society’s socio-economic development and innovation.
At present, young women and men in many countries face numerous obstacles to engage in productive activities: they find it difficult to access capital for start-up or to grow their business as they are perceived as high-risk due to their age and limited entrepreneurial experience; business development services are often lacking, hard to access, and not geared towards the particular needs of young entrepreneurs; they are often less knowledgeable about networks, markets and investment opportunities and sources of information than older players; and the educational and training system does not provide them with the skills required to land a job in the private sector.
To tackle these issues and boost employment, entrepreneurship and inclusive and sustainable industrial development, UNIDO has developed an integrated approach that assists governments and supports structures to serve young people who want to create and develop sustainable enterprises, and ultimately improve their livelihoods.