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UNDP Global

Youth Entrepreneurs Engaging in the Digital Economy: The Next Generation

Apr 20, 2020

A better understanding of how and why young entrepreneurs in South Asia and South-East Asia use digital financial services and digital business solutions can fuel inclusive growth and youth entrepreneurship in those regions. This report offers an up-to-date regional picture of trends related to youth entrepreneurship and financial inclusion based on results from Findex and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey data, as well as qualitative insights from an online survey of 64 young entrepreneurs.

Our analysis found that youth enterprises in South Asia and South-East Asia use digital platforms mainly for marketing, sales and business operations; we also found interesting examples of companies that use digital solutions to promote inclusive growth, education, and health. There has been a rapid expansion in youth using digital payments, including mobile money, although this growth has mostly occurred among more educated and richer youth. With rapid technological growth there is an increased opportunity to better link digital finance and business platforms for young entrepreneurs, especially for developing countries. There is also a need for a wider range of digital financial service offerings, including savings, remittances and credit, and for these services to be better tailored to the needs of existing youth enterprises. The study recommends some alternative fintech solutions that can help fulfil this need.