Unlocking the Potential of Youth Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

From Subsistence to Performance

Demographic pressure and the youth bulge in the developing world pose a major employment challenge. This situation is exacerbated by insufficient job creation, scarce formal wage employment opportunities and vulnerability in the workplace. For these reasons, fostering youth entrepreneurship has gained importance in the global and national development policy agenda. This report aims to contribute to the ongoing debate on the role of youth entrepreneurship in generating employment in developing countries. It is based on the analysis of mixed labour force and enterprise surveys conducted in Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Peru and Viet Nam, as well as evidence on the impact of entrepreneurship programmes. This report’s findings add to the global debate on youth entrepreneurship in three important ways. First, it constitutes an unprecedented effort to capture the real situations and multiple faces of young entrepreneurs in selected developing countries. Second, it provides new empirical evidence on the determinants of youth entrepreneurial performance. Third, it proposes a policy roadmap based on lessons learned from recent meta-analyses of the effectiveness of entrepreneurship programmes.

Published on June 09, 2017Also available in: French

In series:Development Centre Studiesview more titles


Foreword and acknowledgements
Executive summary
Assessment and recommendations
Understanding youth entrepreneurship
Portraits of youth entrepreneurs
Pathways and barriers to entrepreneurial performance
The way forward: Helping youth entrepreneurs reach their potential
Youth entrepreneurial characteristics by performance level
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