By Joseph Zotoo, YEO Champion and Co-Founder of Talents in Africa
Across the globe, youth unemployment continues to be a pertinent concern. Research indicates that 600 million jobs need to be created over the next 15 years to meet youth employment needs. Self-employment opportunities such as social entrepreneurship, gig work, freelancing, are essential avenues for bridging the youth unemployment gap. In lieu of this reality, the YEO 2030 initiative is uniting youth and global stakeholders to maximize youth employment including self-employment by 2030. One of the core pillars of YEO 2030 is livelihoods through self-employment. This pillar focuses on bringing together global stakeholders to share learning and develop tangible policies and practices to help young entrepreneurs grow.
As part of YEO 2030’s efforts to enhance livelihoods through self-employment theme, three youth-led action teams have been established. The action teams are working groups led by youth champions working with global stakeholders and are focused on working on tangible activities that can be completed in 12 months. The social entrepreneurship action team is one of the three action teams under the livelihoods pillar. Our main goals are to: promote social entrepreneurship as a viable work option for youth towards 2030; disseminate key skills, practices, and opportunities essential for succeeding as a social entrepreneur; and identify and promote social entrepreneurs and their organizations within the global context.
"As social entrepreneurs, we continue to see the power of collaboration with young people to address societal challenges we face."
The social entrepreneurship action team has embodied youth centered design in its leadership whereby we have nine active youth leading various social entrepreneurship initiatives across Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe. For us, social entrepreneurship has offered us opportunities to bring our entrepreneurial mindsets, strategies, and techniques into the social sector to bring forth innovative solutions such as youth employment accelerators, intergenerational entrepreneurship circles, climate smart centers working with young refugees, to enhance employment for young people like us. As social entrepreneurs, we continue to see the power of collaboration with young people to address societal challenges we face.
Through our social entrepreneurship action team, we have launched the concept of social entrepreneurship survey which will serve as a useful tool to gather insights on the needs and realities of young social entrepreneurs globally. We invite you to contribute to this research by sharing your views through this survey.
Over the next few months, our action team will curate a footprints series that will spotlight learnings from social entrepreneurs across the globe, develop and launch regional community chapters that will provide a space for young entrepreneurs to regionally collaborate and exchange learnings and opportunities.