71 million unemployed youth worldwide and 156 million young workers living in poverty: youth employment remains a global challenge and a top policy concern. The ILO has had a long-standing commitment to promote decent work for youth. Supported by a unique tripartite structure that brings together the key players in the world of work, ILO’s activities on youth employment span over advocacy, knowledge development and dissemination, policy and technical advice and capacity building services. The International Labour Organization (ILO) is hosting a High-Level Conference on Youth and Employment in North Africa at ILO Headquarters in Geneva on September 26-27th with participants from various countries as well as development partners and major stakeholders to agree on a five-year plan of action and road-map to enhance youth employability in the sub-region. ICSB Senior Vice President Ahmed Osman is representing ICSB Egypt and ICSB at this high level conference and is working on having ICSB present in a number of North African countries. Mr. Osman is the founder of the Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit (EES) that is held every November in Egypt (www.EgyptinNovember.org) and heads the Egypt Entrepreneurship Week. Mr. Osman focus on youth entrepreneurship has led to the launch of many initiatives that includes hosting the ICSB Academy Egypt Edition and a joint project with ILO called Nawah.
Nawah is a Social Business Competition entering its third year of implementation. After two consecutive years, in which the project substantially grew both in size and scope, this third edition is building on previous successes and lessons learnt. With the objective of promoting social entrepreneurship in Egypt and supporting innovative social businesses that attempt to solve social or economic issues, this proposal outlines, strategizes and explains the scope and the implementation plan.
The objective of the Nawah Project is contributing to create meaningful employment for Egyptian youth, while upholding and raising social and environmental standards. Since Egyptian start-ups, especially those ran by youth are facing vast challenges and obstructions, such as low productivity, weak international competitiveness, meagre technological capacity and low export rates, the Nawah Project attempts support through financial and non-financial services such as technical support, access to network and training.