Entrepreneurship Policy 

Making the case for youth entrepreneurship globally 

Youth Business International (YBI) is the only organisation dedicated to youth entrepreneurship globally. This places us in a unique position to advocate for global changes to enable more young people to access entrepreneurship worldwide.

Working together with our global network of members we gather evidence, showcase success and share the voices of young business owners to make a case for what works in youth entrepreneurship support.  

The YBI network team works with institutions, multilateral bodies and governments to educate and advise those in positions of power and help shape the future of youth entrepreneurship to drive a generation for change.  

What we’re trying to achieve 

There are three areas where we are advocating for change 

  1. Barriers to youth entrepreneurship: for too many young people, entrepreneurship remains out of reach. We want to level the playing field so that every young person’s great idea can be turned into a viable business.
  2. Excellence in youth entrepreneurship support: our integrated approach to youth entrepreneurship support consists of three pillars that enable young entrepreneurs to progress from an initial idea to a viable
  3. Regulatory and financial environment: legislation and laws differ from country to country. More is needed to enable young people the same opportunities as their older counterparts.   

Barriers to youth entrepreneurship 

We have identified the below key barriers to youth entrepreneurship: 

Lack of access to finance: Lack of initial funding or difficulty in securing loans and investment is a significant barrier for young entrepreneurs who often lack collateral or credit history which makes available financial products and services unsuitable or inaccessible to them. 

Regulatory hurdles: Complex and cumbersome regulatory requirements, such as permits, licenses, and taxes, can be challenging for young entrepreneurs to navigate, particularly without prior experience or legal assistance. 

Limited access to networks: Established networks are crucial for accessing mentorship, advice, partnerships, and market connections. Youth often lack these networks, making it harder to get their ventures off the ground. 

Education and skill gaps: Insufficient education and training in entrepreneurship skills, including business management, financial literacy, marketing, and negotiation, hinder young people from starting and growing successful businesses. 

Lack of tailored and inclusive support services: Young people who are typically marginalised from entrepreneurship, including women, people with disabilities, refugees and migrants, ethnic and religious minority groups, and those from rural areas and low-income backgrounds, face additional barriers and have specific support needs that are often not addressed by entrepreneurship support services.  

Psychological barriers: Fear of failure, lack of confidence, and a risk-averse mindset can deter young people from pursuing entrepreneurial ventures, particularly when societal pressure emphasizes stability and conformity. 

Lack of tailored support for green and social businesses: Young people are more likely to start businesses that put purpose over profit which may make it harder for them to secure funding. They need support in finding alternative ways to secure investment and measure impact. 

Calling for change

Addressing these systemic barriers requires a comprehensive approach involving policy reforms, investment in education and skills development, fostering supportive ecosystems, and promoting a culture of innovation and risk-taking among young people. 

To remove systemic barriers and unleash the potential of young entrepreneurs worldwide, YBI calls for: 

  • Alternative financing options that suit the needs of young entrepreneurs, such as microloans, alternative credit scores and guarantor agreements, and enhanced linkages between financial institutions and community-based organisations that support young entrepreneurs 
  • Simplified regulatory and legal frameworks for young entrepreneurs to formally register their business and access finance 
  • Holistic approaches to youth entrepreneurship support that encompass business development, personal development, and facilitating an enabling environment 
  • Targeted and specialized support for young people who are typically marginalized from entrepreneurship, including women, people with disabilities, refugees and migrants, ethnic and religious minority groups, and those from rural areas and low-income backgrounds 
  • Specialised support for young green and social entrepreneurs whose businesses address the Sustainable Development Goals 

Those who make it possible

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JPMorgan Chase & Co

JPMorgan Chase & Co

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

Accenture

Accenture