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IDB selects 40 young entrepreneurs projects in Latin America, Caribbean

The Inter-American Development Bank announced today the selection of 40 projects led by young people in Latin America and the Caribbean who will participate in a youth program in Lima, Peru, March 25-31, during the Annual Meeting of the IDB and the Inter-American Investment Corporation Boards of Governors,

The IDB’s Youth Development and Outreach Program, IDB Youth, selected the projects through an interagency committee sponsored by MasterCard International.

“This program tries to underline the positive impact of young entrepreneurs and volunteers in the socioeconomic development of Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly in areas such as entrepreneurship, technology, environment, cultural development, social development and community service,” said IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias.

The electronic presentation of more than 600 youth projects submitted between Jan. 5 and Jan. 30 signaled the start-up of a program of activities that will continue in Lima March 25-26 with the seminar Social Capital in Action in Latin America and the Caribbean: Youth Entrepreneurship and Volunteerism. An awards ceremony will mark the closing of the March 26 session and a community service event will be held on March 27.

Seminar

The international seminar in Lima will be opened by IDB President, the First Lady of Peru Eliane Karp de Toledo and MasterCard International Vicepresident Randall Shuken, and is being jointly organized by the Government of Peru, nongovernmental organizations, IDB Youth and the IDB’s Inter-American Initiative of Social Capital, Ethics and Development.

The event includes two-days of plenary sessions and workshops in which diverse aspects of youth entrepreneurship and volunteer work, their perspectives and examples of programs in the region will be discussed.

Participants will include youth leaders of the selected projects, government representatives and experts in social entrepreneurship, business entrepreneurship and volunteer work. They will exchange experiences and propose new strategies to strengthen active youth participation.

The impact of partnerships among the public and private sectors and nongovernmental organizations to strengthen and expand the activities of young entrepreneurs and volunteerism will be a key subject in the debate over proposals to alleviate poverty and unemployment in the region.

Awards Ceremony

Young leaders of the selected projects will be recognized in an awards ceremony that will take place March 26. IDB President and MasterCard International Vicepresident will present theIDB-Youth-MasterCard International Awards to the youth leaders.

The projects include diverse initiatives from 23 countries, such as entrepreneurship training programs for youth, community libraries run by volunteers, Internet businesses, support to unmarried mothers and protection of the environment and cultural and ethnic heritage in the region.

Members of the interagency selection committee included Roy Thomasson, director of the Organization of American States’ Young Entrepreneurs Fund of the Americas; Gretchen Zucker, social development specialist of the ASHOKA organization; and representatives of the IDB’s Inter-American Initiative on Social Capital, Ethics and Development, the Multilateral Investment Fund, the Sustainable Development Department and the Cultural Center.

For a complete description of the selected projects please visit the IDB Youth page in Internet at www.iadb.org/bidjuventud or link directly to http://www.iadb.org/exr/mandates/youth/esesp_sel.cfm

Community Service Activities

On March 27 a Solidarity and Volunteerism Day will be held in Villa El Salvador, a community 40 minutes away from Lima. National and international youth leaders, representatives from IDB management and MasterCard International and other organizations will work with local residents in activities such as reforestation, repair work on sports and recreational areas, and an entrepreneurship and a health fair.

The program will conclude with Peruvian cultural and folklore activities.

This event is being organized by a committee formed by the National Youth Commission, the National Center for Volunteerism, Probienestar y Desarrollo del Peru, Red Online,  Brigada de Voluntarios Bolivarianos del Perú, Escuela Mayor de Gestión Municipal, Mesa de la Juventud de Villa El Salvador, Municipalidad de Villa El Salvador, Universidad Garcilaso de la Vega, the Peruvian chapter of the Fondo para Jóvenes Empresarios de las Américas, Jóvenes Empresarios of Lima, MasterCard International and the IDB.

IDB and Youth Leadership

The youth program at the IDB’s Annual Meeting was organized to create awareness among political and economic leaders in the region on the protagonism of youth in the development of their communities, cities, countries and the region as a whole.

The IDB ratified its commitment to youth and its active participation in the development process with the creation of IDB Youth in 1995. The program has grown to form a network of more than 3,000 youth organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

One of the most recent projects of the IDB’sEthics Initiative was the creation of the Universities Network for Ethics and Social Development to promote the exchange of ideas and discussion of relevant experiences on subjects connected to social capital, ethics and development among higher education institutions. This network’s purpose consists of catalyzing efforts oriented toward incorporating concepts of social capital and ethics for development into educational programs in Latin American universities.

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