At the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week, UNICEF UK and Barclays are today launching a blog site and study that will track the lives of up to 60 disadvantaged, unemployed young people from across the world, over the next two years. The young people will receive training and mentoring through the award-winning Building Young Futures programme, a partnership between UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation and Barclays, a major global financial services provider with over 300 years of experience in banking, helping them to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to find work or to set up their own small businesses.

The stories of the young people taking part in the study – from Brazil, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Uganda and Zambia – will feature in a new blog ( Through a combination of their own blogs and interviews with researchers, this sample of young people who are at the start of their journeys on the Building Young Futures programme will share their experiences, the challenges they face, and their achievements. The first blogs launched today give an insight into their lives as they embark on the programme, highlighting the harsh reality of their lives, the challenges of finding work, and sharing their dreams and current aspirations for the future.

An estimated 73.4 million young people are expected to be out of work in 2013 (International Labour Organisation, May 2013)  With the aim of helping to tackle youth unemployment, the Barclays and UNICEF Building Young Futures programme will empower 74,000 young people to fulfil their potential and to achieve a stronger economic future, taking their dreams and helping turn them into reality – in the right way.

UNICEF UK Executive Director, David Bull, said: “We are delighted to be launching this exciting new blog site, which will enable young people to share their stories, and document their journeys and experiences as they gain the skills and support they need to help them achieve a stronger economic future.

“Youth unemployment is a tragic waste of young people’s talent and potential, and can have a devastating effect on their lives and communities. These young people are at the very start of their journeys and we hope that as they progress on the programme their stories will not only inspire their peers to develop the skills they need to seize employment opportunities, but also encourage other organisations and governments to support more initiatives like Building Young Futures.”

Barclays Managing Director, Brand, Reputation and Citizenship, David Wheldon, said: “We are proud to work with UNICEF to make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people in the communities where we live and work. This is a key part of 5 Million Young Futures, Barclays’ wider commitment to invest not only money, but colleagues’ time and expertise to enhance the enterprise, employability and financial skills of five million young people by 2015.

“We are excited to now have a platform to host the stories which demonstrate the true impact of this programme, empowering young people to fulfil their economic potential.”

Some of the young people taking part in the Building Young Futures programme, whose journeys to find employment will be tracked, include:

Karen Ndhlovu, Zambia

22 year-old lone parent Karen is embarking on the Building Young Futures programme. She is the main bread-winner supporting her eight month-old daughter, her mother and two younger siblings. In Mtendere where Karen lives there is a lot of unemployment, Karen hopes that she can set up a small typing and printing business. Karen says “Through Building Young Futures, I will be trained and I will know a lot. I will have a lot of customers.  I need equipment to make this happen…then, I hope someday I will have a career.” Karen is receiving training sessions through Building Young Futures, learning about saving, budgeting and how to start a business. She will be mentored bi-weekly and receive more specialised training, for example in enterprise skills.

Naziya Shaikh, India

Eighteen-year-old Naziya Shaikh left school at the age of 14, and today she helps her mother run a small tailoring business at their home in a Mumbai slum. Naziya aspires to be a successful business woman, and, through the Building Young Futures programme, she hopes she will be able to gain the skills and confidence she needs to build a co-operative business, manage her money and share her learning with other young women in the community. Naziya said “My dream is to become a successful business woman and I know I need to learn the skills to do this.’   Through the Building Young Futures programme Naziya is beginning to receive training to build her confidence and equip her with enterprise and financial literacy skills. She is being encouraged to save from her tailoring work, and with encouragement from the programme she has opened a bank account.

Rose Namakula, Uganda

Eighteen-year-old Rose is preparing to take part in the Building Young Futures programme near her home in Bageza Village, Central Uganda. Rose set up a stall at a weekly market selling tea and snacks every Saturday. Rose said “My dream is to get enough capital to rent a shop…and increase my stock. This would enable me to have a stable business.” Through the Building Young Futures programme, Rose will receive training to help her plan for future investments by saving and managing her income.



Notes for editors:

For more information, please contact:

Georgina Thompson UNICEF UK +44 (0)20 7375 6030

About Global Entrepreneurship Week
Global Entrepreneurship Week (18-24 November 2013) is a worldwide movement of entrepreneurial people. 130 countries across the globe are signed up to take part, and millions of people will use the week to create new opportunities and successful ventures. The week is run in the UK by Youth Business International, a global network which already runs the event in 10 other countries, in partnership with Barclays. YBI wants to create a national conversation about entrepreneurship which will help to connect people, share ideas and address regional issues to drive the next generation of business owners. For further information regarding Youth Business International and Global Entrepreneurship Week, please contact the press team on

Set up in 2008, Building Young Futures is an award-winning partnership between Barclays and UNICEF with the aim of helping to tackle youth unemployment by enabling disadvantaged young people – between the ages of 15 and 25 – to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to set up their own business or find a job. Between 2012 and 2015, the programme aims to directly benefit 74,000 young people in six countries. Building Young Futures works in communities with high unemployment rates. Through a combination of the expertise of Barclays’ employees and the experience of UNICEF, we are transforming the prospects of vulnerable young people living in these areas. 

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children, working in over 190 countries to help every child realise their full potential. We work with partners to transform the lives of children everywhere. UNICEF provides health care, water, nutrition, education and protection for children. The most vulnerable and disadvantaged children are our priority. As champion of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we work to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF UK raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please 

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 140,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

About Barclays in the community

Barclays plays a broader role in the communities in which we live and work, beyond what we deliver through our core business activities. We do this through community investment programmes and the direct efforts of our employees.

5 Million Young Futures is Barclays’ commitment to invest not only money, but colleagues’ time and expertise in community programmes that enhance the enterprise, employability and financial skills of young people aged 10 to 35, by 2015.

For more information about Barclays, please visit