Programmes for social inclusion

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Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development

Productive work for young people and entrepreneurship development Providing jobs for young people is one of the most pressing challenges for governments across the globe, a challenge that affects both developed and developing countries, as well as countries with economies in transition. The problem is exacerbated in the developing world by a lack of opportunities and financial resources. The inability to earn an income not only leads to poverty and deprivation, but all too often to insecurity, civil disturbance and crime. Without a future of their own, young people will find it hard to contribute to the future of their country. This is a high priority issue for the United Nations and its specialized agencies and there are few better examples of interagency cooperation than its common response to this challenge. For its part, UNIDO has a dedicated entrepreneurship development programme for young women and men that provides training in technical skills to empower young people, develop the local business environment and instill an entrepreneurial culture. It targets underprivileged young people in particular.

ARMENIA: Productive work for young people – supporting young entrepreneurs In 2011, the youth unemployment rate had risen to almost 40 per cent. Given the limited absorptive capacity of the Armenian public sector and of the formal labour market, UNIDO launched a project to support youth-led enterprise creation and expansion with Austria’s financial support. The project follows a comprehensive approach providing non-financial and financial services during and beyond the start-up phase, and also promotes a more conducive environment for youth-led businesses: aspiring young entrepreneurs receive direct assistance in creating and/ or developing their own businesses including entrepreneurship training, counselling and coaching, and technical assistance. They also have the possibility to access funding through the youth business revolving fund, which has been established through the project. Furthermore, institutional capacity-building has been rendered as and where necessary. Outreach activities are undertaken to reinforce the positive effects of entrepreneurship on individual, community and

socioeconomic development. Particular emphasis is given to the promotion of successful women entrepreneurs to encourage young women to enter into business. Concurrently, issues related to the business environment have been addressed; as a result, a concrete action plan and recommendations for political decision makers at the national and regional level were developed. While contributing to a systemic change, where both the public and the private sector render more and better support to youth-led enterprise creation, the UNIDO project shows that funding schemes targeted towards youth create win-win situations: the project is on track to reach its targets of beneficiaries, including 300 potential and existing young entrepreneurs (of which 50 per cent are women) and 80 youth-led businesses and start-ups. It is envisaged to expand the programme across Eastern Europe. For more information, contact:


> 300 potential and existing young entrepreneurs (of which 50 per cent are women) have benefitted from the programme > 80 youth-led businesses and start-ups are being assisted