The Youth Global Forum, which is organized by Youth Time, will be held in Paris between the 2nd and the 6th of December this year. It is set to be one of the most exciting conferences of the year for anyone interested in impact investing and entrepreneurship.
The Forum’s theme is ‘Worldwide Impact Investment: The Role of Entrepreneurs.’ The setup will be highly interactive, involving a mixture of keynote speeches, masterclasses, case studies and workshops facilitated by global experts. The overarching goal is to help entrepreneurs and other participants better understand the complex environment of impact investing. Equally, the Forum seeks to promote and foster leadership, human values and social responsibility.
A recent study prepared by the International Labour Organization (ILO), ‘World Social and Employment Outlook – Trends 2018’, found that the global youth unemployment rate is currently 13 percent. This rate is almost three times the global adult unemployment rate, highlighting the extent to which governments and existing businesses are not creating enough jobs to satisfy job seekers. The challenges are particularly acute in developing nations. Women are also significantly disadvantaged; on average, women have lower employment rates than men and are often forced to work in lower quality jobs for lower wages.
Entrepreneurship, therefore, should be promoted as a complementary solution. Simultaneously, governments and existing businesses should continue to intensify their efforts to stimulate economies and create new jobs. The Forum, whilst acknowledging that being an entrepreneur is not always easy, has the potential to promote entrepreneurship by empowering young people, inspiring them to pursue entrepreneurial ventures and enabling them to connect with other key stakeholders in the ecosystem, including potential investors.
Combing entrepreneurship with a focus on overcoming the world’s complex economic, environmental and social challenges can be a force for good. Many entrepreneurs may have first hand experience of these social problems, might have experienced or witnessed solutions that have not worked and are inspired to ‘think outside the box’. They may be more determined to try something different and keep adapting their service or product until it becomes part of the solution. Often, entrepreneurs like this have not completed school or received degrees from business schools. Rather, they are inspired to act through necessity or because they sense an opportunity to improve their own livelihoods and those of others around them.
The Forum is also set to empower young journalists who are interested in developing their journalistic expertise and skills. They will be connected to a wide selection of Forum participants, experts and presenters. Moreover, they will have the opportunity to promote the business ideas and successes of young entrepreneurs from around the world. Having been granted this privilege, journalists must acknowledge that they have a powerful role to play in developing the ecosystem and sharing stories to connect entrepreneurs to investors and other support. More generally, journalists can apply pressure on governments, existing businesses and other stakeholders. They can encourage them to introduce or strengthen programs, policies and opportunities that will stimulate entrepreneurship, enabling people to thrive in communities around the world.
Apply to the Youth Global Forum
The call for youth participants from around the world to attend the Forum remains open until the 30th of September. You can apply as a project participant, where you may be selected to present your own project and have the chance to win grant funding. Alternatively, you can apply as a basic participant, where you can be inspired by others, listen to the talks, participate in the workshops and network to develop your knowledge and contact-base.
Young applicants must be aged between 20 and 35 and be able to communicate in fluent English. They must also meet any of the following criteria: be a masters or PhD student, a social entrepreneur, a young professional or person working at/with start-up incubators or accelerators.
More information can be found here.
Image courtesy of Flickr. Originally published by S&S on September 27, 2018.