How Access to Finance Can Fight Youth Unemployment

German, FINCA Mexico client

There are an estimated 400 million youth globally who are struggling to find decent work opportunities, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO). Twenty-four-year-old German Galicia Villalva can relate to their plight. After studying biotechnology engineering in Mexico*, German struggled to find a job.

Access to financial services is one solution for youth unemployment. It can spark entrepreneurship where youth, like German, are able to face joblessness head on by accessing loans to start or grow their own businesses.

The statistics on youth unemployment are alarming. According to ILO, the youth represent 25% of the total working age population but make up 40% of the global unemployed population. In fact, the United Nations estimates that young people are almost three times as likely to be unemployed than adults. In Africa, for example, there are over 600 million youth under the age of 25 and 72% of them are currently unemployed.

Because of these alarming numbers, World Youth Skills Day was established, in an effort to shed light on the youth unemployment problem and on how to foster viable work opportunities.

Luckily for German, he had his family business to fall back on. German and his parents own a small grocery store in Emiliano Zapata. When he struggled to find a job in biotechnology engineering, he returned to his store to help his parents grow the business by securing small loans from FINCA.

*FINCA served the people of Mexico from 1989 to 2016. On November 10, 2016, FINCA transferred its operations there to Te Creemos, a mission driven Mexican Microfinance Institution that shares FINCA’s commitment to providing responsible financial services to clients of all income levels.