Strengthening Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in the Pacific Island Countries
CO-Suva (presence may or may not be required at the duty station)
Publication date: 09 July 2021
Application deadline (midnight local time): 08 August 2021
Job ID: 6428
Department: RO - Asia & Pacific
Organization Unit: CO-Suva
Location: CO-Suva (presence may or may not be required at the duty station)
Candidates also applying for fixed-term employment positions with the ILO are encouraged to respond to this call for expression of interest if they so wish.
The ILO values diversity. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, including those with disabilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a massive disruption of labour markets that has had disproportionate impacts on youth employment. Given that youth have relatively limited skills and experience, they face higher rates of unemployment than adults regardless of the sector and business cycle. Young people are also more likely than adults to work in less-secure, lower-wage, lower productivity employment, frequently with limited legal rights, social protection, and representation.
As a result of the pandemic, slow economic growth hampers the ability of the economies in the Pacific Island countries to absorb the growing numbers of labour force entrants, especially in formal sector jobs. Even before the pandemic, countries in the Pacific encountered challenges with regard to job creation, decent work, and necessary skills for the labour market resulting in high and persistent youth unemployment. The lack of access to business support services and intermediation services such as entrepreneurship programmes, quality career guidance, counselling and public employment services are also an important structural constraint for an efficient transition of young people to the labour market. Many governments in the Pacific are actively engaged in policies to create productive employment opportunities and to create an enabling environment for youth to grow and attain the skills they need to do well in work and in life, as well as to either start a business or find suitable employment.
Based on evidence from the ILO rapid assessments of the impacts of COVID-19 on workers and enterprises and SMEs in particular, in the Pacific Island countries, most enterprises have difficulty operating, especially youth-led businesses in the informal sector. Their limited ability to counterattack the involved risks, business environment, and afford the costs due to the slowed down business activities face the complex problems of the lack of funds and liquidity, skills, employees, customers, and technology.
The role of young entrepreneurs and youth-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have steadily gained an essential role as a driving force for fuelling employment, business innovation and green and inclusive growth. It is essential to understand the environment in which young entrepreneurs and MSMEs operate - the so-called entrepreneurial ecosystem – to improve business outcomes and facilitate job creation.
The overall objective of this study is to analyse the youth entrepreneurship ecosystems in Pacific Island Countries. This includes assessing the barriers facing youth in entrepreneurship and productive self-employment in the formal sector and how these can be overcome by proposing national interventions which relevant actors could lead in the Pacific Island Countries. The study will provide country-specific analyses of the entrepreneurship ecosystem, exploring and identifying dynamics and potential entrepreneurship stimulation, allowing to design effective reform interventions. The output of the study is supposed to identify the gaps in the ecosystem which hamper the stimulation of youth entrepreneurship. It also provides recommendations on areas in the ecosystem that need to be adjusted to support entrepreneurs in a sustainable and disaster resilient maner.
The study is a joint effort by UNDP and ILO in the context of the UN Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and contributes to the thematic area on youth entrepreneurship and self-employment. The knowledge products will be made available in the joint knowledge facility of Decent Jobs for Youth (https://www.youthforesight.org/).
Samoa, Solomon Islands,Tuvalu and Palau
Scope of the Work
The study needs to address the underlying following pathways:
- Understanding the role of existing components of the ecosystem: Policy, Finance, Culture, Support, Human Capital and Markets in the development of entrepreneurship ecosystem in selected Pacific Island countries. The analysis should also provide insight into the coherence of the entrepreneurship ecosystem as a whole, i.e. identify communication flows and partnerships between the individual ecosystem components as well as shortcomings such as parallel systems or absent communication.
- Mapping of key actors in the national entrepreneurship ecosystem, their role and services in the ecosystem, and their relation and linkages with other ecosystem stakeholders.
- The role of education and training to increase the chances of better business skills and entrepreneurial performance by young men and women.
- The outreach and quality of the business development and support services to youth provided by various public and private institutions
- The difficulties of youth accessing finance and managing resources to start and improve entrepreneurial performance.
- The quality of business climate to create a conducive environment that stimulates youth entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on addressing the impact of informality on youth entrepreneurial performance (Including the legal aspects/environment for stimulating youth entrepreneurship)
- Understanding the cultural aspects, attitudes, opinions and experiences of young people in entrepreneurship, and the likelihood of becoming a young entrepreneur.
Recognising the barriers and introducing recommendations from different perspectives, addressing green, gender, fragile contexts and/or digital entrepreneurship.
The findings of the study will assist national partners in the Pacific island states and relevant institutions to design policies and programmes to tackle the barriers of youth entrepreneurship with the objective to:
- Increase opportunities for youth entrepreneurship, productive self-employment and business development services
- Improve access to business development services and financial resources for youth
- Promote youth entrepreneurship culture and economic empowerment
The Consultant(s) will provide a detailed methodology, explaining how he/she will address and deliver the objectives in this ToR. The methodology should consist of the following:
- Conducting a thorough mapping to understand the existing entrepreneurship ecosystem for youth in every selected island country, with a focus on identifying the gaps and weaknesses of the current entrepreneurship ecosystems.
- Examining the type of barriers and knowledge, attitude and practices of young people in entrepreneurship, using supplementary research methods, mainly focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with ecosystem stakeholders, field experts, UN agencies and development partners.
- Mapping the ecosystem based on an analytical framework, developed by Daniel Isenberg. Indicated Entrepreneurial Ecosystem framework is a growth-oriented approach consisting of six main domains: policy, finance, markets, human capital, support and culture.Conducting and analyzing research based on this framework will help provide a comprehensive review of efficient and effective entrepreneurship processes in Pacific Island countries.
The expected contract period is from 19 July to 31 December 2021. To complete the assignment, the consultants, in close collaboration and consultation with ILO and UNDP specialists, and national counterparts, is expected to perform the following tasks:
Number of work days
A research proposal in line with the proposed framework of the ecosystem for every selected Island country Samoa, Solomon Islands,Tuvalu and Palau)
Research proposal, including a detailed description of the methodology, list of stakeholders to be interviewed, annotated outlien and structure of the country reports, and Workplan
Draft country-specific reports structured in line with the proposed framework of ecosystem
Conducting validation workshop
Draft reports including annexes
Final report structured in line with the proposed framework of ecosystem
The Consultant(s) must have the following qualifications:
- At least 10 years of research and analysis experience in conducting labour market studies with a special focus on youth issues and entrepreneurship;
- Relevant knowledge and understanding of the business environment and labour market in Pacific Island Countries;
- Advanced university degree or equivalent in entrepreneurship, business administration, economic development, or other related social sciences; Ph.D. degree is an asset;
- Experience working on similar assignments for international organizations or the public sector;
- Demonstrated knowledge of SMEs and local economic development approaches;
- Strong writing skills in English
Administration, Reporting and Coordination
The contract for this assignment will be issued by ILO and UNDP. The Consultant will work closely with the national focal points in the selected countries.
Interested applications should submit the following documents:
- A profile/CV demonstrating the Consultant's relevant experience and competencies;
- A brief technical proposal (maximum 4 pages) where the tentative methodologies and work plan are presented;
- A financial proposal indicating the cost required for undertaking the assignment.
Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website. The system provides instructions for online application procedures.
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