It is predicted that by 2030, at least 2 billion young people will be seeking work and opportunities, making underemployment and a lack of opportunities one of the most significant socio-economic and security challenges we are currently faced with (1). Youth unemployment has been directly linked to feelings of social exclusion, anxiety, and hopelessness; and at its worst, can lead to poverty, violent extremism, political instability, and crime. As such, finding solutions to this growing problem will be key to creating a peaceful, sustainable, and equitable future for all. Local entrepreneurs play a key role in achieving this, creating jobs and providing youth employment opportunities for those in their communities.
The role of young entrepreneurs is particularly relevant in the context of fragile and conflict affected states. Young people often turn to entrepreneurship to develop opportunities for themselves and their communities in these circumstances. Moreover, the capacity of young people to deal with the uncertainty, partly caused by fragile ecosystems, can be a powerful source for new ideas and approaches. Especially, digital and social innovations have become prevalent in the workforce to allow them to adapt to changing circumstances (2).
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is committed to investing in education and youth employment for this reason; aiming to improve prospects for young people, particularly in developing countries and fragile states, by bridging the gap between the skills young people learn and what the labour market demands.
In support of these efforts, the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO), on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is pleased to launch their annual scholarship in collaboration with One Young World to offer young leaders and entrepreneurs from these countries a place at the annual One Young World Summit.
The One Young World Summit 2024 will see 2,000 young leaders from 190+ countries descend to Montréal for the global forum for young leaders, during which delegates will present and debate solutions to our time’s most pressing issues alongside senior leaders. This will offer young entrepreneurs an unparalleled experience to become engaged, build on successful initiatives, and connect with other changemakers around the world.
The Enterprising Futures Scholarship has the following objectives:
- Empowering young leaders to create sustainable job opportunities in selected regions.
- Leveraging the potential of young people as widely as possible for job creation and highlighting their potential as a solution to fostering prosperous societies.
- Raising awareness of youth unemployment and sharing best practices regarding this subject.
Enterprising Futures Scholars will receive:
- Access to additional events organised by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Access to the One Young World Summit 2024, taking place from 18 – 21 September in Montréal, Canada.
- Hotel accommodation during the Summit dates.
- One night of hotel accommodation (if required) for the visa application process
- Additional night pre-Summit (if needed).
- The cost of travel to and from the host city of the Summit (flights in economy).
- Domestic travel costs to the airport to take the international flight (flight in economy).
- Travel to the visa application process (if required).
- Visa costs, if applicable (including visa costs and required travel for visa appointment).
- Catering which includes breakfast at the hotel accommodation and, lunch and dinner at the Summit.
- Transport between the Summit accommodation and the Summit venue.
- Lifetime membership to the OYW community.
Candidates must be:
- Aged 18 – 35 by the date of the One Young World 2024 Summit in September.
- Actively engaged in the fields of youth employment and job creation, either as entrepreneurs or in a similar role (and be able to demonstrate this).
- Nationals of and residents in one of the following countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq including Kurdistan region of Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Mozambique, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda. Please note that candidates with refugee status are certainly eligible.
- All candidates will be required to have a working understanding of English, as both the One Young World Summit and Enterprising Futures pre- and post-programmes will be held in English.
- Candidates must be available to join the programme full-time between 17 and 22 September 2024, as well as pre- and post-programme dates.
The Dutch MFA values an inclusive and diverse environment. The Dutch MFA encourages all young entrepreneurs (rural-urban) that are eligible to apply (no matter race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, religion, or education).
One Young World will assess candidates based on:
- A demonstrated commitment to creating a positive impact through (social) entrepreneurship in their communities.
- Proven leadership ability (role models) in their communities.
- A capacity for innovation and value-driven problem solving.
- A concern for local and/or global issues.
- An ability to generate and articulate impactful ideas.
- An ability to work towards a shared goal through teamwork and collaboration.
Expectations of Selected Scholars
Previous Enterprise for Peace Scholars have helped conduct eco-system mappings, given advice on new initiatives and have been invited to share their experience in various other events organised by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs Corners or its partners. As the Dutch MFA and would like to broaden its network of young role models and entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East, please note that when you have been selected to receive a scholarship, your contact details might be shared with Dutch embassies in the eligible countries. The Dutch MFA asks for the active participation of the selected candidates throughout the programme.