Press Releases

IFC, World Economic Forum Announce Winners of the Global Youth Jobs Innovation Challenge

In Washington, D.C.
Name:  Thoko Moyo

Phone: (202) 458-8517


Washington, D.C., April 17, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the World Economic Forum have announced winners of their global essay competition on youth unemployment, with first place going to May Habib, a young social entrepreneur from Lebanon. The aim was to bring the voices of young people into the conversation about how to tackle this growing crisis.
The Youth Jobs Innovation Challenge was launched in January at the 2012 World Economic Forum’s Annual Meetings in Davos. As part of the challenge, the question, “What can the global community do to create jobs for my generation,” was put to the forum’s Young Global Shapers Community in an effort to encourage new models, bold ideas, and personal leadership among the community.  

The Global Shapers are a worldwide network of people between the ages of 20 and 30 who demonstrate huge potential for future leadership.

Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said “More than 200 million people around the world are unemployed—and a disproportionate number of them are young people. Ms. Habib’s essay gives us valuable insight into this challenge from the point of view of youth, a critical partner for public and private efforts to create employment.”

The winning essay argues that creating platforms that bring young people into a global marketplace for talent is a viable and effective starting point to help young people identify opportunities to earn a living.  
Second prize went to Ravi Subramanian from India whose essay focused  on the informal sector. Third was Vidyadhar Prabhudesai , also from India , who addressed the question of matching skills of young people with those required by the labor market.

“There was an impressive selection of entries reflecting original thoughts that were bold and innovative,”
said Mina Al-Oraibi, Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Alawsat Newspaper and member of the judging panel. “In assessing the essays, we looked for specific and actionable recommendations that could be applied across multiple regions and sectors.”

The winners were judged against a field of more than 45 entries from around the world. The panel of judges consisted of members of the Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment, IFC staff, and internationally recognized experts from the private sector, government, and academia.

David Aikman, head of the Young Global Shapers Community, said, “There were many qualified applicants and reviewing the essays was fascinating—truly a pleasure. I congratulate all of the Shapers for their inherent ambition to explore actionable, scalable, and transferable models to address youth unemployment; and I hope that other organisations will find ways to engage youth in generating creative solutions to help address the world’s biggest challenges.”

For more on IFC and its work in facilitating job creation, visit

To access the winning essays, please click on:

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit

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