Many of the global challenges to development are especially salient for youth. Young people are critical to future economic development and key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals. When young people have access to decent, productive work, everyone benefits and the future looks more prosperous.
The SDGs represent a 2030 global plan of action which aims to eradicate poverty in all its forms and drives sustainable development in its three main dimensions – economic, social and environmental.
Our vision that youth entrepreneurship is recognised for driving sustainable economic development strongly aligns with the SDGs. Investing in youth entrepreneurship can foster innovation and tackle such issues as hunger, health, inequality and economic development. Given their scale and reach, YBI’s members are making substantial progress towards many of the SDGs.
Three of the goals demonstrate our areas of action and key priorities:
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
SDG 8 aims to increase labour productivity, reduce the unemployment rate - especially for young people, and improve access to financial services and benefits. These are essential components of sustained and inclusive economic growth.
YBI is recognised by the UN as an official partner impacting Goal 8.
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Unemployment affects young people in almost all regions of the world. Huge gender disparities in emerging and developing countries mean that youth unemployment and under-employment amongst young women is even more accentuated in developing countries. Women face barriers to realising their economic rights, which in turn shape outcomes for women related to labour markets, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
The gap between the haves and the have-nots is already too great – and, in many places, it is growing, as wealth and opportunity are shared inequitably. High inequality undermines economic growth by depriving the ability of lower income households, the disadvantaged, displaced or persons living with disabilities to remain healthy and accumulate human and physical capital.
Through our network we support these goals by removing barriers that limit young people’s ability to set up and maintain businesses. Filipa and Sadashiv are great examples of young entrepreneurs successfully addressing the SDGs through their businesses.
Currently 49% of the young entrepreneurs we work with are women. Our aim is for more inclusive programmes that create jobs, build communities and transform lives. The SDGs help us to stay on track with our work and measure the contributions our members are making to these global goals.
Our contribution to the SDGs is featured in our 2017 Impact Report. Read the full report here.