Global Action: Promoting Social and Solidarity Economy Ecosystems

Youth-Led Social Enterprises



Youth-led social enterprises can address pressing social and environmental issues while providing young people with employment opportunities.
Policy makers can support youth-led social enterprises through tailored support to better access funding and financing, build knowledge and skills, raise the profile of social enterprises more generally and improve the evidence base.

This project is developed by the OECD Global Action "Promoting Social and Solidarity Economy Ecosystems”, funded by the European Union.


  • What's the issue?

Supporting youth-led social enterprises has the double benefit of providing youth with jobs while allowing them to have an impact on society. Policy makers in many countries and regions have recognised the potential of social enterprises to drive positive social outcomes and are now developing new policies, legislation and strategies to support social enterprise development. To capitalise on the transformative power of youth-led social enterprises, it will be important for policy makers to consider the specific needs and potential of young entrepreneurs when designing these policies so that strategies do not just create jobs but also enable youth to be actors of the future.

This project is being conducted in the framework of OECD Global Action “Promoting Social and Solidarity Economy Ecosystems” with funding from the European Union.


  • What can the OECD offer?

The OECD has pioneered work and significantly expanded practical knowledge on the social economy, social enterprises and social innovation for over two decades. Our work has since demonstrated the major role that the social economy plays in local job creation, social inclusion, economic growth and the green transition.

The OECD can support policy makers in implementing strategic policies to help young social entrepreneurs overcome the challenges they face to thereby successfully launch, run and scale social enterprises.  Effective policies can target areas such as helping young people develop knowledge and skills; encouraging private investment and developing tailored funding and financing; raising the profile of social enterprises, including those led by young people; improving the evidence base on youth-led social enterprises; and giving young people a seat at the table to address their perspective and needs in policy frameworks.

Webinar | Unlocking the Potential of Youth-Led Social Enterprises | 9 November 2022, 15.00-16.30 CET  



Read the report

Recent publications

Youth Led Social Enterprises

Published 9 November 2022

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U‌nlocking the potential of youth-led social enterprises

Young people increasingly prioritise pursuing careers with positive social and environmental impact. Social enterprises can help them fulfil this ambition. Youth-led social enterprises can address pressing social and environmental issues while providing young people with opportunities in the labour market. Despite these benefits, these entities often struggle due to the age of their founders and the specificities of their businesses.

This report aims to:

  • Analyse the drivers and potential benefits of youth led social enterprises,
  • Assess the challenges they face, and
  • Provide policy guidance to address them through tailored support programmes based on best practice examples and experiences from OECD countries and beyond.

Read the report


Read the policy highlights: EnglishFrench | German | Italian | TurkishSpanish





Blog posts and podcasts

what do you see? by Yasmin Morais


Daring to do: Young social entrepreneurs doubling down on business with impact




About the OECD Social Economy and Innovation Unit

The OECD began work on social entrepreneurship over 25 years ago. The OECD assists national, regional and local governments in designing and implementing strategies to support the SSE and social enterprises by providing them with tailored and evidence-based policy recommendations. The work supports the OECD’s Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED) Programme.  


If you are interested to learn more about the project or to get involved:

[email protected] 

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