The Office of Global Youth Issue's Startup Youth Initiative

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 12, 2012

The Department of State’s Office of Global Youth Issues has made fostering economic opportunities for young people and youth entrepreneurship a policy priority. To further these goals, the Office of Global Youth Issues is launching the Startup Youth Initiative for young entrepreneurs.

This initiative is a continuation of the commitments of the Youth Livelihoods Alliance, a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to address youth and economic livelihoods. The U.S. Department of State, represented by the Office of Global Youth Issues, was the first government agency to join the Alliance.

  • The Youth Livelihoods Alliance, led by the International Youth Foundation, is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to help address the global youth economic livelihoods crisis. The Alliance brings together leaders in government, business, and civil society to develop practical and innovative solutions to this global challenge. The Youth Livelihoods Alliance has three core commitments: promoting the goal to hire young people, developing their skills, and creating jobs through entrepreneurship. Other members include Hilton Worldwide, Microsoft, MasterCard Worldwide, Caterpillar, Manpower, Laureate International Universities, Blackstone Group, and the Multilateral Investment Fund of the InterAmerican Development Bank.
  • The Startup Youth Initiative focuses on one of the core commitments of Alliance: youth entrepreneurship. Startup Youth will provide entrepreneurship programs and events in conjunction with the private sector to facilitate opportunities for young entrepreneurs to actualize their ideas.
  • The first event under the Startup Youth Initiative will be a joint program with Microsoft Corporation through Innovate for Good, a Microsoft YouthSpark program, which will consist of a series of six events. Microsoft’s Innovate for Good program enables youth to collaborate, inspire and support each other while using technology to make a difference in their communities and provides the tools and resources needed to bring their ideas to reality. Each event will begin with a speaker series that will focus on youth and entrepreneurship led and moderated by Zeenat Rahman, the Secretary’s Special Adviser on Global Youth Issues, followed by a day-long Microsoft Innovate for Good workshop. Young innovators will spend the day learning skills on how to present and pitch ideas, hearing from leading social innovation and entrepreneurship experts, and leading ideas generated at these events will be “on-boarded” into the Innovate for Good online community where subsequent training and resources will be provided to help these potential ventures become reality.
  • For updates on the Startup Youth Initiative, follow it online at and on Twitter: @Zeenat, hash tags #startup_youth and #GlobalYouth. For more information on the Office of Global Youth Issues, please visit // or
  • Questions about the Startup Youth Initiative may be directed to Sabeen Malik, or (202) 647-1444.

PRN: 2012/1967