the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

How to effectively launch youth into the workforce minimal cost, maximum employment

By Mariel Sabra

Imagine if just about every single person in New York City were on the job hunt…at the same time!

That’s the case for youth in Latin America and the Caribbean: according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 7.8 million of the region’s young people are looking for work. Youth unemployment for these youth ages 15-24 averages 13.4%, double the 6.3% general unemployment rate. This figure is particularly high for young women, at 17.2% versus 11.3% for young men. 

Mexican youth: ready for jobs in renewable energy?

By Elena Heredero Rodriguez

With the end to Mexico’s state monopoly over energy and the opening up to foreign investment in 2013, new employment opportunities are arising in the renewable energy sector. But what skills do these jobs require?  And is the workforce ready to meet private sector demands? 

Springing up the education ladder in Haiti: From brain drain to brain gain

By Nara Meli

“What is the point of college?” asked the New York Times’ Sunday Magazine recently. In the United States, the question of the value of investing in higher education stems from the steep price of attending college, particularly “for the average American household that doesn’t receive a lot of financial aid.”

Sports, theater, and circus arts ease at-risk youth into the workforce

By Claudio Cortellese

By Claudio Cortellese and Mariel Sabra 

For the vast majority of the 160 million youth between 15 and 29 years old in Latin America and the Caribbean, the transition into the labor market is anything but easy. Youth unemployment continues to hover around 13%—three times the rate of adults (5%). When broken down by gender, young women experience higher unemployment rates than their male counterparts (17% vs. 11%). And, of the young people who have been able to find a job, more than half are employed in the informal sector, according to the International Labour Organization

How to scale up youth employment and entrepreneurship projects

By Mariel Sabra

Countless organizations across the region aim to help youth fulfill their potential and be better prepared for jobs and their lives ahead. At the MIF, we’ve seen and supported many innovative youth training projects, including approaches that use sports, arts, or even circus acts. However, many such pilot-scale youth employment and entrepreneurship projects remain small. How can we at the MIF help them expand their reach to wider populations? And what are the critical factors that lead to their success or failure on a larger scale?