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Unlocking the Potential of Youth Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

From Subsistence to Performance

image of Unlocking the Potential of Youth Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

Demographic pressure and the youth bulge in the developing world pose a major employment challenge. This situation is exacerbated by insufficient job creation, scarce formal wage employment opportunities and vulnerability in the workplace. For these reasons, fostering youth entrepreneurship has gained importance in the global and national development policy agenda. This report aims to contribute to the ongoing debate on the role of youth entrepreneurship in generating employment in developing countries. It is based on the analysis of mixed labour force and enterprise surveys conducted in Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Peru and Viet Nam, as well as evidence on the impact of entrepreneurship programmes. This report’s findings add to the global debate on youth entrepreneurship in three important ways. First, it constitutes an unprecedented effort to capture the real situations and multiple faces of young entrepreneurs in selected developing countries. Second, it provides new empirical evidence on the determinants of youth entrepreneurial performance. Third, it proposes a policy roadmap based on lessons learned from recent meta-analyses of the effectiveness of entrepreneurship programmes.

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The way forward: Helping youth entrepreneurs reach their potential

OECD Development Centre

Significant efforts have been deployed in recent years to promote youth entrepreneurship at the national level. Numerous countries now count on policies that support youth entrepreneurship, mainly through entrepreneurship education and skills development in the schooling system, and comprehensive packages offering multiple services such as training, financial support, business advisory services, mentoring and coaching. This chapter looks at policies and programmes that have proven to help young entrepreneurs move up the performance ladder.

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