Press Releases

World Economic Forum, IFC Partner to Address Youth Unemployment

In Washington:
Name: Thoko Moyo

Phone: (202) 458-8517


Washington D.C, January 25th, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the World Economic Forum are sponsoring an international essay competition designed to identify potential solutions to the global youth unemployment crisis.

The Global Shapers, a World Economic Forum community of young people under 30 who are exceptional emerging leaders, will present their ideas in the competition, The Youth Jobs Innovation Challenge. The competition, sponsored by IFC and the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment, requires participants to address the question: “What Can I and the Global Community do to Create Jobs for my Generation?” Submissions must be original and actionable. Internationally recognized experts from the private sector, government, and academia will serve as judges.

The Youth Jobs Innovation Challenge fits into the theme of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2012: The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models. One of the four pillars of the meeting is to bring new models and bold ideas to the world stage on the issues of growth and employment. The competition was launched on December 21, 2011 and will run until February 19, 2012.  

The author of the best essay will receive $10,000 and the second and third place winners will be awarded $5,000 and $2,500, respectively. Winners will be announced at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in April. Winners will also present their ideas at the Summit on the Global Agenda in October.

IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell said, “The mismatch between education and the needs of the labor market is limiting the ability of young people to develop relevant skills and build careers. Private sector leaders must work together with government officials, international agencies, civil society organizations, and youth not only to improve training opportunities for youth, but also to support job creation in the broader economy for everyone. ”

The ideas and proposed solutions captured in the essays will deepen knowledge about how more jobs can be created for youth, and can provide valuable inputs for future strategy and decision-making at IFC and WEF’s other partners.
The competition is expected to yield useful ideas on how sustainable models can be piloted to impact education, private sector job creation, and new approaches to job training. These can be adopted as part of the Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment’s work in Cambodia and Tunisia.  These ideas will also inform the TEN Youth campaign, supported by the Global Agenda Councils on Multinationals and Youth Employment, which calls on corporations to hire ten youth.  

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

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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