Friday, May 4, 2012

Week in Review: Nurturing potential in young entrepreneurs

As Mother's Day approaches, I find myself thinking about all the people who have nurtured my potential -- my mom, teachers, bosses and friends. It's impossible to separate my achievements from their encouragement and support. And I see how they feed each other -- nurturing support encourages me to seek opportunity, and with each success I become more confident and empowered which leads to more support. But, what if there was no opportunity to be had?

Worldwide, 15 to 29-year-olds are twice as likely to be unemployed. And of those who have a job now, one in four reports being underemployed. Young people face discrimination because of their lack of experience, but denying opportunity to young people -- those whose dreams are often the most vivid -- is discouraging the precise thing that every country should be cultivating.

Recently, microfinance leader BRAC ran a blog post summarizing a brainstorm it held with young entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. They grappled with topics like whether there is a need for youth-focused financial products -- the resounding response: YES.

At Kiva, we believe the ripple effect of empowering young entrepreneurs will greatly benefit current and future generations. That's just one reason why we decided to feature Arab Youth Loans on our Lend page this week. By expanding opportunity for young people whose dreams are in desperate need of nourishment and fortification, we hope to help brighten the future for everyone.

Interested in learning more about Arab Youth loans? Have ideas for how Kiva can encourage and support young people to dream big? Let us know at

The Week in Review is designed to share things that we have enjoyed reading or watching, and discuss all things Kiva from the previous week.

photo courtesy of US Embassy Tel Aviv