The Role of Youth in Social Transformation through Entrepreneurship


Young people are pushing for systemic, democratic changes around the world through political and economic vehicles. In Cambodia last month, youth (who are frustrated with corruption of the current ruling party and the status quo) vocalized their desire for change before the national elections took place. In Sri Lanka, Youth Parliamentarians have been consulting with senior policy makers to make sure their opinions and inputs are heard. And in Jordan, young tech entrepreneurs are building a movement to reverse the controversial media censorship law through advocacy.

In this week’s Economic Reform Feature Service article, three winners from CIPE’s 2012 International Youth Essay Competition in the Social Transformation category discuss how youth entrepreneurs are helping build democratic societies. Want to make your voice heard? CIPE is accepting submissions from bloggers of all ages for our 2013 Blog Competition.

In Prince Karakire Guma’s Fostering Democracy in Uganda: The Unexplored Contributions of Young Entrepreneurs, Guma talks about:

  • Youth entrepreneurs play a significant part in building Uganda’s democratic society by contributing to the country’s political and economic development, but their stories are often unknown or untold.
  • Youth in Uganda have a history of serving as social change agents. In the 1990s they contributed to post-conflict nation building at both local and national levels, and Ugandan youth today actively participate in the country’s civil society.
  • In order to sustain and deepen the involvement of youth entrepreneurs in Uganda’s democratization process, society must continue engaging and supporting their efforts through various means.

In Surath Giri’s Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Fostering Entrepreneurship: Lessons from Nepal, Giri offers best practices from Nepal, including:

  • Local solutions to challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Nepal are worthy of sharing with other developing nations to help build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in other countries.
  • Among many reasons, the main hurdles for Nepali entrepreneurs from reaching their full potential are the stigma associated with profit-making, an unfriendly business environment, and a lack of support mechanisms.
  • ¬†Building an entrepreneurial ecosystem requires a multi-dimensional approach with cooperation among like-minded organizations and people to address different aspects of entrepreneurship development.

In Nivya Murthi’s Youth Social Entrepreneurship for Building a Stronger India, Murthi discusses:

  • India, a country with over half of the population under the age of 35, is full of young people with the energy to help build a stronger democracy through social entrepreneurship.
  • Enthusiastic and active youth are needed to transform India, which is striving to achieve a balance between the country’s growth and addressing social issues.

Read all three articles here.