Promotion of Youth Entrepreneurship and Employability in Southern Lima

March 2012 to December 2014

Despite years of significant economic growth, there are still high rates of poverty in Peru, rates which pose major challenges to the country’s economic and social development. In Lima, Peru’s capital and its largest city, a significant portion of the population does not hold a quality job. Youth, particularly females, are most affected by unemployment and underemployment. As a result of poverty, many youth in Lima are being drawn into risky activities including informal work and membership in gangs.

What We're Doing: 

The program provided youth with:

  • Appropriate training in personal, technical and business skills
  • Greater access to employment
  • Training in entrepreneurial skills and the promotion of youth businesses
What We're Learning: 

In the program's early stages, WUSC identified the following issues concerning the implementation of this project and developed appropriate strategies to mitigate them.

  • There was the possibility of local conflicts or conflicts of interest with particular groups. These were mitigated through a participatory and transparent methodology of project delivery. Likewise, youth and business groups which best represent Southern Lima were involved in the project, and forums were held in order to build consensus and agreement on the project activities.
  • There was a risk that young people would be afraid or unwilling to start their own enterprises. In order to encourage youth entrepreneurship, ongoing support from professional experts and volunteers was provided to promote leadership and confidence.
  • There was the possibility of a lack of interest among local business groups to participate in the project. This was mitigated through outreach and motivational activities with these groups on the need to address and confront the issue of job creation. This component will be carried out by UNACEM SS.AA, a company in the private sector, and local authorities who are key actors in the community.

While Peru’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown steadily [1] over the last several years,  there are still high rates of poverty (39.3%) and extreme poverty (13.7%).  In the Lima Metropolitan Area, which is home to 31% of the country’s population, poverty afflicts 19.1% of its inhabitants.

Poverty in Lima is concentrated in the peripheral areas -  the districts located in the southern, eastern and northern parts of the city.  In Southern Lima, the lack of entrepreneurial skills is evident in the poor productivity of micro-entrepreneurs as well as the low quality of their products and services.

Likewise, an analysis of Peru’s technical education system reveals that it fails to provide students with the job skills needed to meet the demand of the labour market. This is because of the poor quality of education provided at training institutions, insufficient personal skills in curriculums, and inadequate correlation between education supply and the demand for labour.


Thank you to our donors.

WUSC’s Promotion of Youth Entrepreneurship and Employability in Southern Lima was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). It was implemented in partnership with Asociación UNACEM– a foundation of Unión Andina de Cementos SS.AA (UNACEM SS.AA).




[1] In recent years, GDP growth has been as follows: 8.6% (Quarters I, II and III of 2010), 0.9% (2009), 9.8% (2008) and 8.9% (2007). National Statistics Institute (INEI), Quarterly Technical GDP Report, No. 4, November 2010. 

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