Youth Programs

With young people leading democratic reform efforts around the world, CIPE's youth programs empower and engage youth as the political and business leaders of tomorrow. For progress and reform to take hold, young people must play an active role in advancing democratic and market-oriented reform. Even though their engagement is vital in formulating effective public policy, youth are too often excluded from political and economic policymaking. Without institutional avenues for voicing their opinion, strikes and street protests become the only opportunity for young people to be heard.

CIPE works closely with its partners to provide young people around the world with the tools they need to become capable leaders, helping them to effectively shape their countries’ future. Through entrepreneurship initiatives and partnerships with civil society organizations CIPE programs create openings for youth engagement in the policymaking process and empower young people to be self-dependent and take initiative.

Youth Programs at CIPE

Through its programs and international partnerships, CIPE acts to empower youth in these areas:

  • Educate youth on entrepreneurship, business management, and civic leadership.
  • Provide youth with the necessary tools to become effective leaders and represent their own views.
  • Equip business associations to engage youth populations in the policymaking process.
  • Provide opportunities for youth to share their ideas regarding democratic and market-oriented reforms.

Youth Programs in Action

Through the Chamber LINKS and Think Tank LINKS (Leaders, Innovators, and Knowledge Sharing) programs CIPE provides talented young professionals from chambers of commerce, business associations, and think tanks worldwide the opportunity to be fellows of host organizations in local communities throughout the United States. Thirty-one fellows from 21 countries have participated in the programs. After working with their host organizations, these young professionals are able to bring home innovative ideas and approaches to help their organizations advocate for the private sector.

Through programs such as EmprendeAhora in Peru and the Tashabos curriculum in Afghanistan, CIPE provides civics and entrepreneurship training for students and young graduates. To date, these programs have reached more than 50,000 young people and led to the creation of nearly 1,000 new businesses.

Pakistan: Partnering with the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in Pakistan, CIPE supported the creation of a Young Entrepreneurs Forum within the chamber where university students and prospective business starters could contribute to the chamber’s agenda setting process. As a result of increased participation, youth directly contributed recommendations to the National Youth Policy and now have 25-30 percent representation on the chamber’s executive committee.

Each year, CIPE invites young people to share their ideas on how to create opportunities for youth to strengthen democracy and the private sector in their own countries through its Essay/Blog Competition. Students and young professionals between the ages of 18 and 30 create submissions on one of the selected topics. Recent topics included inclusive growth, social transformations, and entrepreneurship.

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Center for International Private Enterprise
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