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
For more on IFC and its work in facilitating job creation, visit www.ifc.org/jobcreation.
To access the winning essays, please click on:
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,