YOUth CAN! Promoting Youth Economic Empowerment in Lebanon

Partner: Oxfam Italy
Location: Akkar and North Lebanon
Donor: EU
Duration: March 2020 – March 2022
Budget/Grant (Mada): 123,222 €

Overall Objective:
To foster young women and men’s fair economic participation promoting long-term investments in creativity and innovation in Lebanon

Specific Objectives:
– To strengthen the sustainability and competitiveness of youth-led enterprises with high potential for inclusive job creation, and social innovation in Northern Lebanon; and
– To promote youth participation in the labour market through active engagement of Policy makers and key private and public stakeholders at local and national levels

Lebanon is facing the worst unemployment crisis of its history, both structural and cyclic, and compounded by domestic and regional political and economic instability, exacerbated by the financial and covid19 crisis. This economic downturn has had a disproportionate effect on young people entering the workforce: Lebanon’s youth unemployment rate is 37%, compared with a 25% national average.

The four main reasons for youth unemployment are: low economic growth due to socio-economic and political instability and low availability of job opportunities, weak career guidance and counselling, lack of thorough market information and statistics, and pressure on jobs exacerbated by the refugee situation.

Unemployment varies regionally, with the country’s poorest regions most impacted, including areas with up to double the national average and with Northern Lebanon having the highest rate in-country.

Specifically,this project aims at responding to the following:
(1) low survival rates of youth-led enterprises/SEs due to limited access to tailored/innovative financial and technical support;
(2) young entrepreneurs’ perceptions that their voices are not heard and they lack opportunities to influence youth-oriented policies.

The project will facilitate youth access to labour market, and more broadly promote youth economic participation in Lebanon through:

1) the support to youth-led enterprises with high potential for inclusive job creation, and social innovation by improving their sustainability and competitiveness and by facilitating peer to peer learning;

2) the support of policy dialogue between youth, young organizations and duty-bearers to stimulate youth employability, job market access and active participation in economic life by facilitating the discussion among young entrepreneurs on common challenges they face, mutual learning processes and the definition of recommendations and joint actions.

Main Activities carried out by Mada
– Outreach youth entrepreneurs
– Organization of a capacity building program targeting 50 youth

50 youth developing/having set their own business