Life skills training, program,
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

International Youth Foundation Annual Report | 2013

Providing Solutions


Today’s youth face unprecedented obstacles on the path to earning a livelihood and becoming productive, engaged citizens. IYF breaks down those barriers.

Training, skills, resources, connections—IYF delivers what young people need to realize their true potential. Across a network of global partners, our solutions galvanize the opportunities to learn, work, and lead that all youth deserve.

The need is immense:

  • Over 80 percent of the 120 million young people who entered the job market in 2013 could not find work
  • 621 million youth are not in school, jobs, or training
  • 35 percent of employers have trouble filling positions because of a shortage of qualified candidates

By mobilizing business, government, and civic leaders to support solutions that work, IYF is enabling young people to realize their dreams of finding decent jobs, starting their own businesses, and changing their communities for the better.

  • We believe building partnerships between the public and private sector, civil society, as well as leveraging the know-how of international organizations such as IYF, can help jobseekers access economic opportunities and better prepare them for the job market.

    Faiza Kallel Executive Director for the Promotion of Employment,
    Tunisian Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training
  • The EquipYouth program is helping young people to acquire a backbone in life and turns a kid who feels lost in the adult world into a confident young man or woman able to compete and to demonstrate her or his best potential.

    Lyna Davydova Corporate Affairs Manager,
    Government and Corporate Affairs, Caterpillar Eurasia
  • We want all Ugandan youth to participate in Build Your Business so they can acquire and utilize business skills necessary to improve their own livelihoods and contribute to overall economic growth.

    Gerald Karuhanga Youth Member of Parliament,
    Western Region, Uganda
  • If not for this program, I would not have gotten this job. I realize how much I learned about dealing with clients’ needs, about teamwork, and coming in on time.

  • I want to show everyone that a girl with roots in the village can also create a niche for herself in the big city.

  • EquipYouth helped me believe that nothing in life is impossible when you’ve got the strength and the will to fight.

  • Before joining this program, I didn’t know how to calculate my expenses and therefore did not have sufficient knowledge of my business. Today, I can forecast and address these types of challenges.

  • Surrounding yourself with people who think the impossible is possible is critical.

    Katy Digovich Positive Innovation for the Next Generation

Creating Opportunities for Youth

Since its founding, IYF has opened doors of opportunity for nearly 17 million young people. Three signature solutions lie at the heart of our efforts around the world.

Passport to Success®

By emphasizing responsibility, self-confidence, time management, and other core life skills that employers demand, IYF’s Passport to Success® curriculum delivers a ticket to employability in a world where more than one in three companies has trouble finding qualified candidates.

Build Your Business

This unique training course—developed in partnership with Microsoft—gives youth a blueprint for entering the world of entrepreneurship. Through e-learning and in-person instruction, BYB demystifies business planning, start-up financing, and other complex business concepts.


By connecting social entrepreneurs to training, funding, advocacy, and networking opportunities, YouthActionNet® sets leadership in motion—strengthening and expanding the impact of youth-led social ventures in more than 80 countries. A newly redesigned website informs and inspires youth-led change.

YouthActionNet’s Can Do yearbook highlights the movement of youth to the forefront of social change with stories of creative problem solving.

Employment Programs that Work

Meet four IYF program participants whose hard work exemplifies the potential of young people globally to succeed.

Impacting Businesses

Employers can’t find skilled workers. Young people can’t find jobs. Globally and locally, IYF is making the connection.

According to recent surveys, 64 percent of CEOs said their priority is to create a skilled workforce for their organizations. And for good reason: more than half of employers claim that an employee skills gap impairs their company’s ability to serve clients.

To fill local hiring managers’ needs, we work alongside our corporate partners to implement IYF solutions. We match our workforce training to the specific skills they seek, which will help them effectively run and grow their businesses.

By teaming with global corporations, we’re making new inroads for youth in today’s key growth sectors, including hospitality, financial services, construction and maintenance, retail, and IT.

To help create opportunities, we also develop young entrepreneurs. Through Build Your Business, IYF gives hands-on support to help good business ideas come to life.

Our YouthActionNet® leadership training is also reaching an ever-growing network of young social innovators, many of whom are at the helm of their own social enterprises. Their initiatives not only employ fellow youth, but support sustainable local businesses.

in 2013 IYF Worked with Corporate Partners to Deliver Employment and Leadership training to Young People Around the World.

Watch:the IYF impact
Read: successful partnerships
LEARN: Solutions for the Field

Investing in the Future

Create powerful solutions. Share them with youth development champions. Repeat worldwide.

Hundreds of local organizations across the globe share IYF’s passion for advancing the potential of young people. We train and teach these youth development practitioners to carry out their work more effectively and with greater impact.

Working across continents and cultural contexts, IYF delivers capacity-building services that range from financial management training to tested workforce development strategies. We provide what’s needed to move programs from the pilot phase to long-term, effective, sustainable, and scalable solutions.

Newly Available: IYF Library

IYF’s online library is a one-of-a-kind repository of youth development resources. Thanks to its newly improved functionality, users can more easily locate information about IYF programs, approaches, and best practices. The library’s digital catalog shares more than a decade’s worth of learning and experience.

Coming Soon: NEO Quality Standards Assessment System

In Latin America, IYF is developing an innovative new online assessment system to help 200+ service providers in the New Employment Opportunities program. Providers can assess their programming and receive tailored coaching from IYF’s regional experts, who will design a personalized improvement plan.

Coming Soon: New Training Platform for Passport to Success®

IYF is developing a Learning Management System platform where Passport to Success® trainers can access professional development materials and connect with peers to improve their life skills instruction. The platform will also house a new blended-learning Training of Trainers program that combines engaging online instruction with in-person sessions.

Where Do We Go From Here?

By closing gaps and opening doors for youth, IYF programs are bringing stability, security, prosperity, and hope to so many. But we can—and must—do even more.

Letter from the chairman

IYF’s solutions work. Millions of young people, once marginalized and short on options, now have decent job prospects and promising futures. They are supporting families, boosting economies, and improving communities.

But as the world’s youth population swells beyond 1.2 billion, our work is needed more than ever. And, given the numbers, we won’t be able to do it alone. Governments, businesses, and civil society must make youth a priority and invest in the issues that matter the most, in programs that are proven to deliver results, and in countries where the need is the greatest.

To facilitate those investment decisions, IYF and partners Hilton Worldwide and the Center for Strategic and International Studies recently launched the Global Youth Wellbeing Index. For the first time ever, we have data portraying the true state of wellbeing for nearly 70 percent of the world’s population. A roadmap for policy and investment, the index measures six interconnected areas of youth’s lives in 30 countries.

Providing solutions for the world’s youth is a team effort.
Contact IYF to explore a partnership opportunity.

Be the solution.

The challenge is clear: The world cannot afford to let the talents and potential of 1.2 billion youth worldwide—and future generations—go unrecognized and underutilized.

The health of our communities and our citizens, locally and globally, depends on the ability of these young people to learn, to earn a livelihood, and to lead their way into a prosperous future. It depends on you.

Join IYF in advancing the sustainable, scalable solutions that empower young people to better their own prospects, boost economic growth, and lead our world into an equitable, inclusive future.

Message from the CEO

Chairman's Letter

While the challenges facing today’s youth loom large, we must never forget their role as part of the solution, or our responsibility to support their active engagement in society. Since its inception, IYF has placed a premium on equipping young people with the skills and abilities to contribute meaningfully to their communities.

This foundational premise of our work is reinforced by the findings of the Global Youth Wellbeing Index. Among its recommendations is the importance of increasing youth participation and elevating youth voices in decisions that affect their lives. Working together with our government, corporate, and civil society partners, IYF equips youth with the leadership and essential life skills needed to assume their place as active citizens.

We recognize that investments in talented young leaders will reap returns for decades to come. Toward that end, I am very proud of IYF’s YouthActionNet program. In 2013 we saw it grow to include 18 youth leadership institutes now supporting over 900 young social entrepreneurs in 80-plus countries. These young innovators serve as powerful role models for their peers. This is especially true on university campuses around the globe—many of them Laureate International Universities—where YouthActionNet is forging vital connections between its fellows and students eager to share their knowledge and contribute to social change. This is just one of the ways in which IYF is working to nurture an entrepreneurial mindset and culture of innovation among an emerging generation of youth.

While there is much talk of the youth population bulge, greater emphasis needs to be placed on transforming this demographic reality into a dividend. The Youth Index points us in the direction of where investments in young people can achieve the greatest benefit—and where young people themselves can serve as our most valuable allies.

Douglas L. Becker

, International Youth Foundation

Chairman & CEO
, Laureate Education, Inc.