UN agencies have launched a new global campaign to make it easier for 70 million unemployed youths to get financing and learn new skills to start a business.

The campaign was launched by International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Trade Centre, UN Capital Development Fund, UN Conference on Trade and Development and UN Industrial Development Organisation.

The global project will run through August, according to ILO.

It will aim to “effectively enable young entrepreneurs to success and improve the sustainability and quality of self-employment opportunities for youth,” ILO said.

The agency added that the main challenges to be addressed included “the lack of enabling policy and ecosystems, limited access to capital, insufficient tools to enhance skills development and knowledge transfer”.

The campaign will focus on strategies to promote “an enabling regulatory environment” for young people, make use of technology and networks, aim to allow greater access to finance and provide greater support for young people.

The UN estimates that while 70 million youths are unemployed, an additional 150 million work yet live in moderate to extreme poverty.

Tuesday’s launch came on the first observance of the International Day for Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, which seeks to raise public awareness of these businesses which generally employ fewer than 250 people.

This year’s theme is “youth entrepreneurship and self-employment”.

The day was created in April to raise public awareness of the contributions of such enterprises to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to alleviate poverty and preserve the people and the planet.

According to the data provided by the International Council for Small Business, formal and informal Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises make up over 90 per cent of firms and account on average for up to 70 per cent of total employment and 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product. (NAN)