Unlocking the Potential of Youth Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

From Subsistence to Performance

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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.

English Also available in: French

Understanding youth entrepreneurship

OECD Development Centre

Defining and measuring youth entrepreneurship is complex. There is no internationally agreed definition of youth entrepreneurship, and data gaps make it difficult to obtain reliable information on youth entrepreneurs in developing countries. This chapter focuses on definition and measurement issues and their importance for our understanding of youth entrepreneurship. In particular, it presents the operational definitions and survey data used for the empirical analysis conducted in four selected developing countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Peru and Viet Nam.

English Also available in: French

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