More than half the world’s population is under age 30 – and 90% of them live in developing economies. Young people face daunting challenges, from unemployment to food shortages to political unrest and the effects of climate change. We are focused on empowering young people to recognize their own needs and contributions, build their skills, and attain meaningful jobs. We support youth to start businesses and to enroll in training and educational programs to build marketable skills. We also partner with public and private educational institutions to develop training programs in line with market needs, supporting young people on viable career paths.
Approach and Expertise
IESC’s positive youth development approach empowers young people to recognize their own needs and contributions, build their skills, and ensure sustainable economic growth. We support youth to start businesses and enroll in training and educational programs to gain marketable skills.
- To ensure our work is appropriate to the local context, we define “youth” in line with each country we work in.
- We engage young people in the design of activities or projects that are geared toward them.
- We partner with public and private technical and vocational training institutions to develop curriculum in line with market needs, preparing young people for jobs with viable career paths.
- We support and develop not only our young beneficiaries, but also our youth employees and field teams.
Our Work in Action
In Sri Lanka, we launched a youth forum to set the agenda for a national discussion on the future of Sri Lanka’s workforce and showcase successful young entrepreneurs.
In Tanzania, IESC is leveraging technology to meet the needs of young entrepreneurs. We built a mobile app to connect them with business services and deploy digital coupons to encourage service providers to work with youth-owned businesses.
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, we manage a grants program to help small and medium enterprises expand, reach more markets, and generate jobs. We target half of those new jobs for youth.