Today, there are over 1.8 billion adolescents and youth around the world. One of the greatest challenges facing these young people is unemployment, with approximately 120 million young people joining the labor market each year and more than 73 million of them consistently documented as under or unemployed. At the end of 2010, over 75 million young people ages 15-24 were struggling to find work or feed themselves.
In order to help young people transform local economies and fight hunger all sectors must play a role. Banks must provide appropriate financial services to youth, industries must train their workforce for current and future market demands, and governments must encourage youth innovation and engagement. We all can engage in these initiatives in an effective and inclusive way by prioritizing young people’s views, considering their developmental needs, and including girls and other marginalized populations of youth to ensure equity. The energy and innovative capacities of these young people offer great potential for economic prosperity.