Building Young Futures, a partnership programme between UNICEF UK and Barclays, has reached more than 90,000 young people across six countries. Over three years, the programme has helped to create 11,000 new businesses and has delivered sustainable long term change for young people. According to an independent evaluation of the programme by C&E Advisory, “Building Young Futures has been highly effective in achieving impact at scale and in depth.” 

See international actress, recording artiste and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Priyanka Chopra speaking about her experience of visiting Building Young Futures here

The programme combined Barclays’ business skills, expertise and networks with UNICEF’s global reach, high-level access to governments, and local knowledge to deliver in-depth employability, enterprise and financial skills training to hard to reach young people in the six countries. 

The co-created programme which operates in Brazil, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Uganda and Zambia, “has provided a major example from which others can learn.” It highlighted the success the programme had across three key areas:

  • Sustained change for individuals;
  • Securing sustained change in practice for communities; and
  • Success in influencing changes in public policy and practice

The engagement between the two organisations and in-country governments ensured that steps towards longer term change and programme legacy have been put in place. A specific commitment to scale up the programme has been made by governments in Egypt and India, and the networks set up across all countries including youth groups, career guidance centres and ongoing mentorship services will ensure the success of the programme lives on.

Programme impact highlights:

  • Over 90,000 young people reached
  • 10,000 young people have secured employment
  • Almost 20,000 young people have come together to start 11,000 businesses
  • The Egyptian government has made a commitment to continue to fund the programme in the five regions in which it currently operates, and to expand it to five new regions.

The report concluded that “across all programme countries, Building Young Futures is likely to leave an impressive ongoing legacy.”

Lawrence Dickinson, Company Secretary, Barclays and Executive Sponsor for Building Young Futures, said: “This important partnership between Barclays and UNICEF has proven to be a highly successful model of working across public-private sectors and civil society. Barclays employees are proud to have played a key role in a partnership that has had a profound, long-term impact on the economic future of thousands of young people and their wider communities.”

David Bull, UNICEF UK Executive Director, said: “We are incredibly proud of everything Building Young Futures has achieved. Thousands of young people from impoverished communities have been given a second chance in life and now have the skills and knowledge they need to strive ahead and secure bright futures for themselves. We believe that this programme has set a robust model for businesses and civil society working together with governments to make real, lasting and sustainable change to young people’s lives.” 

C&E Advisory added: “We would expect that over time the investment of resource made by Barclays, UNICEF and other actors... will long continue to yield value for disadvantaged young people.”


Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact the Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or

Set up in 2008, Building Young Futures is a partnership between Barclays and UNICEF. It has a shared goal to tackle youth unemployment by enabling young people – between the ages of 15 and 25 in communities with high unemployment – to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to set up their own small business or find a job. Between 2012 and 2015 the partnership focused on in-depth support and training for young people in Brazil, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Uganda and Zambia.

Case studies available on request.


Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK.

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About Barclays

Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way.

With 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 130,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website

About C&E

C&E Advisory is a leading international business and society consultancy. C&E works with some of the world’s foremost businesses, agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and high-impact philanthropists, helping them secure sustainable shareholder, social and environmental value.

Practice areas cover strategy; programme design; oversight and reviews; performance measurement and reporting; high-performance team development; and leadership coaching. And because today’s challenges and opportunities require new ways of thinking, C&E is particularly adept at inspiring and enhancing sometimes surprising cross-sector collaborations. C&E has advised on some of the world’s leading and best known corporate NGO partnerships.

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