Ban Ki-moon: the cooperative business model can help tackle youth unemployment

The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon (in photo), believes that cooperatives can play an important role in helping young people find jobs. With youth unemployment...

The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon (in photo), believes that cooperatives can play an important role in helping young people find jobs. With youth unemployment at all-time high in the wake of the world financial and economic crisis, Ban Ki-moon reiterated that entrepreneurship is one way to tackle this challenge, noting that the cooperative model enables young people to create and manage sustainable enterprises. “Through their distinctive focus on values, cooperatives have proven themselves a resilient and viable business model that can prosper even during difficult times. They have also continuously provided reliable access to credit and other financial services for small business operators and promoted self-reliance,” he said. According to Ban Ki-moon, “the active inclusion of young women and men in social and economic development helps reduce social exclusion, improve productive capacity, break cycles of poverty, promote gender equality and raise environmental responsibility.” As the world community prepares to celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives, which will be launched in October, the Secretary-General invites young people to explore the benefits of pursuing cooperative enterprise and other forms of social entrepreneurship, and encourages the cooperative movement to engage with youth. “Let us recognize young women and men as valuable partners in strengthening the cooperative movement and in sustaining the role of cooperatives in social and economic development,” Ban Ki-moon concluded. – Source: Secretary-General statement on the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives on the theme “Youth: the future of cooperative enterprise” (United Nations, July 2, 2011). UN Photo / Mark Garten

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