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The YEO 2030 Initiative is building on the success of our past Global Youth Economic Opportunity Summits by emphasizing youth leadership and by linking learning to action. While we are still focused on sharing best practices for addressing key issues affecting youth economic opportunities globally, with the launch of YEO 2030 we are taking one step further. We are renewing our commitment to increasing youth economic opportunities by placing young people at the helm and by taking concrete actions with a broader community of stakeholders to advance achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.

Young People are Facing Historic Challenges 

The number of youth aged 15–24 around the globe surged 30 percent from 1999–2019. At the same time, young people’s global labor force participation rate fell by about 12 percent. The pandemic made a challenging situation worse; in 2020, 8.7 percent of the world’s youth lost their jobs, compared to 3.7 percent of adults. As a result, 1 in 6 young people who were employed before the outbreak of COVID-19 stopped work altogether, while more than 40 percent reported a drop in their income. 

A Unique Opportunity for Collective Action 

Making Cents International is leveraging our expertise and partnerships to accelerate progress toward achieving SDG 8. Our YEO 2030 initiative unites young people and the larger ecosystem of changemakers to achieve sustainable economic growth and employment for all by 2030. 

We are bringing together youth, youth-led and youth-serving organizations, policymakers, funders, and the private sector to co-design a living strategy for achieving SDG 8 that focuses on young people, the planet, and prosperity for all. YEO 2030 is committed to: 

  • Elevating youth leadership; 

  • Listening to global voices; 

  • Developing and maintaining an ecosystem map of YEO stakeholders and activities to strengthen sector coordination; and 

  • Sharing successes and failures, and bridging the gap between workforce needs and the education and training systems for youth that aim to respond to these needs. 

YEO 2030 Themes 

Three thematic pillars underpin YEO 2030’s work to share learning, develop tangible actions, and advance scalable, sustainable solutions: 

1. Ready for the Global Workforce: key issues that influence youth employment 

2. Livelihoods through Self-Employment: policies and practices to help youth entrepreneurs grow 

3. Global Context Matters: industries, systems, and policies that impact youth livelihoods