Fast Facts

Youth Entrepreneurship Around the World

1 July 2021
ITC News

Overview of the global labour market for youth, 2019

Based on 1.2 billion population, in million

Source: ILO modelled estimates, November 2019; ILO calculations based on ILO harmonized microdata; ILO, 2018a.

Note: “Youth” refers to the age cohort between 15 and 24 years. Percentages may not add up precisely due to rounding.

One in four young people around the world are entrepreneurs or self-employed.






Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2015 APS Global Individual Level Survey Data. Young meaning: 15-24 years of age.


Accessing finance is a major challenge for youth-led firms.

Youth-led companies are less likely to have a bank account. 











More youth led companies need a financial loan (82%) than non-youth-led companies (60%). 






 Owning a business bank account


Source: ITC. Based on SME Competitiveness Survey data gathered in 15 countries (Argentina, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ghana, Hungary, Kenya, Morocco, Saint Lucia, Gambia, Philippines, Togo, Ukraine and Zambia).


Improved youth skills and innovation as well as financial support promote the export capacity of small businesses.


Youth in this edition of the magazine is defined as per the African Youth Charter in which “youth” means “every person between the ages of 15 and 35 years.