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, a major goal of UNESCO pertains to ICTs and youth development. It has identified youth participation in the use of ICTs as a strategy that needs to be strengthened at various levels - local, regional, national and international. These principles are articulated in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This paper reviews ICT-related youth entrepreneurship landscape. This is achieved through an investigation of the best practice principles for the ICT-related income generation opportunities for the youth in order to understand the benefits and challenges faced. The paper is divided into three parts. (1) The paper reviews the literature on current ICT-related entrepreneurship options for the youth through best practice principles, with a specific focus on the middle and low-income opportunities. (2) It discusses the social and economic challenges in the lifecycle of a typical ICT-related youth enterprise. (3) The paper concludes by summarizing the entrepreneurship opportunities in the context of challenges.
Exploring the employment potential of ICTs
Academic pursuit is often the only choice for scores of young students. Most schools and universities especially in the developing and underdeveloped countries do...