Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Youth Entrepreneurship

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Youth Entrepreneurship

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Introduction
Suhas Gopinath’s mother feared for his future. He was more interested in website development than his academics. He spent hours in an internet café peering over online tutorials after school hours in India. When he failed his mathematics exam, his mother ordered him to focus only on academics. Left with no option, Suhas waited for his summers. Soon, at a young age of 14, he was a website development freelancer for many companies in the United States. He welcomed adulthood by registering his venture “Globals Inc” in the United States. Today, the world can’t help but applaud the young man’s achievements. The European Parliament and International Association for Human Values conferred "Young Achiever Award" on Suhas at the European Parliament, Brussels. He was also invited to represent the World Bank's ICT Leadership Roundtable for adopting ICT in Africa to increase employability and fostering ICT skills in students from these countries.

ICT initiatives serve as a vital entry point from which young people learn about themselves and the world around them. More than 1 billion people today are between 15 and 24 years of age and nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population is below the age of 20. . Moreover, young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults today. The ILO estimates that 47 per cent of all unemployed persons globally are young women and men and 660 million young people will either be working or looking for work in 2015. Therefore, not addressing the issues young people face today can result in adverse economic consequences in the future.

ICTs make a huge impact on the economic & social environment of the youth through entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. In this context...


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...trieved May 17, 2008, from http://www.e-greenstar.com/India/launch/Press-release.pdf.
8. Pearl, D., & Phillips, M. M. (2001). Grameen Bank, which pioneered loans for the poor, has hit a repayment snag. Wall Street Journal, 27(11), 01.
9. Generating decent work for young people: An Issues Paper prepared for the Secretary-General’s Youth Employment Network. (2002). Retrieved from ILO website: http://bit.ly/19ibh4C

10. Irdus, R. M. (2003). Telecentres: Case studies and key issues. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 4(1).
11. Ibid., p.6.
12. Somavia, J. (2001). World employment report, 2001 : life at work in the information economy. Geneva: ILO.p.37

13. Curtain, Richard. (2002). Generating youth employment through information and communication technologies: best practice examples and strategies. Youth Employment Summit. p. 12

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