This UN New Project Will Empower 70 Million Unemployed Youths
The United Nations is out to assist 70 million unemployed youths around the world to become skilled, have access to financing and eventually become employers of labour.
This is the objective of a new global campaign launched on Tuesday by UN agencies - International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Trade Centre, UN Capital Development Fund, UN Conference on Trade and Development and UN Industrial Development Organisation.
The global project will run through August, according to ILO.
Listing the objectives of the project, the ILO said: “It will aim to “effectively enable young entrepreneurs to success and improve the sustainability and quality of self-employment opportunities for youth”.
Many of these unemployed youths are from countries where they lack enabling policy and ecosystems, and also have limited access to capital, insufficient tools to enhance skills development and knowledge transfer.
The campaign will focus on strategies to promote “an enabling regulatory environment” for young people, make use of technology and networks, aim to allow greater access to finance and provide greater support for young people.
The UN estimates that while there are 70 million unemployed youths, an additional 150 million work, but they still live in moderate to extreme poverty.
Tuesday’s launch came on the first observance of the International Day for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, which seeks to raise public awareness of these businesses which generally employ fewer than 250 people.
This year’s theme is “youth entrepreneurship and self-employment”.
The day was created in April to raise public awareness of the contributions of such enterprises to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to alleviate poverty and preserve the people and the planet.
According to the data provided by the International Council for Small Business, formal and informal Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME)make up over 90% of firms and account on average for up to 70% of total employment and 50% of Gross Domestic Product.
It is on this statistics that the decision to empower more youths to become skilled entrepreneurs and have access to financing.
In Nigeria, access to financing is something that has hindered the growth of MSMEs, since they cannot go through the rigours of getting a loan with a high interest rate.
The Nigerian Senate has said it would focus on making laws that will see to reduction of interest rates to encourage small business holders to seek financing from banks that sometimes scare them away with a demand for commensurate collateral.