Youth in Business

Being relatively young regions, economic integration of youth is a defining challenge across the Western Balkans and Central Asian regions, but policy priorities have not aligned yet in a consistent way around entrepreneurship and the post-education age cohorts. Integrating young people into the labor market and increasing youth entrepreneurship offers many social and economic benefits.


While access to finance is one of the greatest challenges faced by MSMEs across the globe, the barriers imposed to young people can be even higher. The lack of capital, experience, and information, as well as economic and market challenges, can impede youth inclusion in preferred businesses even when there is an expressed willingness to start up a business and create sustainable economic opportunities.


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has developed the Youth in Business Programme that aims to provide a holistic approach to addressing the barriers faced by youth entrepreneurs in terms of access to finance and access to know-how.


In cooperation with International Project Consult (IPC), ConsumerCentriX was selected to support the development and roll-out of the Programme in 11 countries of the Western Balkans and Central Asian regions. As such, ConsumerCentriX is undertaking comprehensive market research of youth entrepreneurs gaining an in-depth understanding of their apparent and latent needs, challenges, behavior, most prominent segments, and profiles.

While youth entrepreneurs share important lifecycle features in business and finance across the regions, country-level contexts and financial sector structure require customized solutions. With this in mind, market assessment further expands and looks at the supply side and the potential areas, where youth is likely to be udder-served and could benefit from dedicated financial and non-financial offers.


The market assessment will then be followed by the Programme launch and implementation together with interested financial institutions in the selected countries.

As it stands today, Youth in Business Programme has been successfully launched in Western Balkans.