Championing Youth Entrepreneurship in Mozambique with Building Bridges

img_2571The Road to Nairobi 2016 Project, with the support of the local World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper Hub, traveled around the greater Maputo area to meet 10 youth entrepreneurs working in a variety of sectors, in order to learn from their challenges and to get a better understanding of their lived experiences. The ventures discovered ranged from a tech startup working on information asymmetry in the labor market, to a design firm which transforms waste into materials for interior design. These individual stories are featured on the Humans of MY World photo-narrative blog.


The path of an entrepreneur in Mozambique can be difficult and trying at times; a few of the entrepreneurs we met noted how the economic climate is having an impact on their businesses. Even so, some young people are choosing entrepreneurship as an alternative to looking for a job, where they are confronted by a youth unemployment rate estimated at around 80%. The young people who are resilient enough to try youth entrepreneurship need support, role models and an enabling environment. 

Frederico Peres Da Silva, co-founder of a tech startup in Maputo, recognizes the importance of entrepreneurial role models: “If you are in the [United] States, a CEO understands the value of mentoring a startup. You know why? Because he’s heard of Facebook, he’s heard of Snapchat, he’s heard of WhatsApp. He goes, ‘Oh, what if this is the next Facebook?’ To change that perception in Mozambique you need to have a couple of references in the market. You need to have your champions.”

Graca Machel, SDG Advocate speaks at the Mozambican Building Bridges Forum

Young Mozambicans that have taken to the MY World global survey prioritize good education as one of the key areas where  they hope to see positive improvement. The youth entrepreneurs we met further discussed the current education system and their experiences with it.  However, they are not only focused on education in general, but see the importance of having practical skills and experience in the workplace as the key to success in their entrepreneurial journey.

Lack of technological infrastructure and resources are other challenges to educational access and entrepreneurship in Mozambique. Frederico is using technology to help young unemployed Mozambicans access the job opportunities through their phones.

img_2754Where gaps and challenges exist, young people in Mozambique are stepping up to empowering each other and themselves. Marlene de Souza found that young people were unable to communicate and translate their knowledge into action in the workplace. She started a company which offers training to university students on skills such as how to successfully enter the job market and how to communicate with “attitude,” so that these students can bridge the gap between the academic and labor market.

Diogo Lucas started a business to help SMEs access finance and gave them the tools to mature into sustainable businesses. According to Diogo, this is something SMEs really need: “There are opportunities for small businesses but they’re not developing because there is not enough support, there’s not enough money. Bank finance is hard to come by with all these challenges. When I was travelling across the country I realized that it’s not because they have bad businesses. It’s because people don’t have the skills or the ability to access capital that can help them grow and develop.”


Sázia Souza runs a company which offers tech solutions to companies and private individuals. Twice a month, she and her team trains children on how to use computers. When asked about her passion for technology and education, Sázia said: “Mozambique has a problem when it comes to using technology. People are not prepared for the future. Technology is growing too fast. When you go to some schools, they don’t even have computer lessons. Even the teachers don’t know how to use the computers.”

Youth entrepreneurs in Mozambique are working to carve a bright future for themselves. They are working together and with other young people to support skills development while growing a culture of entrepreneurship. To help them on this path, it is important to understand the Mozambican context as well as the lived experiences of rural and urban young Mozambicans in order to empower them for success. The Road to Nairobi team spoke to youth entrepreneurs and asked them what changes they would like to see to support youth entrepreneurship in Mozambique:

  • Lineu: More young people need to have the courage to start for themselves. I started with nothing and almost 100% of the people didn’t believe in me.
  • Claudio: When you register a business, you are sent from one place to another. The process will be better when everything is in one place. It should take less time and require fewer documents.
  • Wilton: Government must create conditions for young entrepreneurs to develop businesses. Especially fiscal policy because currently, police doesn’t differentiate between being a young entrepreneur or an old entrepreneur.
  • Sides: We need more incubators with people who have been trained to support youth entrepreneurs.

Authors: Samantha Ndiwalana (Project Manager of the Building Bridges Foundation) and Annemarelle van Schayik (Research Manager of the Building Bridges Foundation).

Peoples' Voices from around the world celebrated in SDGs Exhibition in UN Visitors Lobby

Since its launch on the 18th of July, the SDGs: A People-powered Agenda – Leave No One Behind exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters has drawn excited crowds of visitors and high-level delegations from around the world.

IMG_20160808_115212.jpgH.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, visits the SDGs exhibition 

During the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and co-chair of the United Nations Secretary-General’s SDG Advocacy Group, was one of the first to visit the exhibition together with the Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen. Both expressed their commitment to making the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality for all on the exhibitions large size blackboard. H.E. Erna Solberg wrote that she will continue to advocate for “Quality Education for All”, while H.E. Geir O. Pedersen committed to “Take Action against Inequality”.

IMG_20160718_110241.jpgH.E. Geir O. Pedersen, Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, writing his commitment to the SDGs on exhibition blackboard 

The HLPF is central platform of the United Nations for the follow-up and review of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It provided political leadership, guidance and recommendations on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation and follow-up; keep track of progress of the SDGs; spur coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences; as well as addressing new and emerging issues. In addition to visiting the SDGs exhibition, H.E. Erna Solberg delivered the opening key-note speech at the start of the Ministerial Segment of the HLPF on 18 July and presented Norway’s voluntary national reviews on its progress of delivering the Sustainable Development Goals on the 19th.

IMG_20160804_171540.jpgJCI members at the exhibition’s selfie station

Taking up the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s challenge that “youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels,” members of Junior Chamber International’s (JCI) visited the SDGs exhibition during the JCI Annual Global Partnership Summit. Held July 25 to 28 in New York City, the summit offered international leaders and JCI members the chance to visit the exhibition and experience its interactive selfie stations, take surveysand engage with the important challenges and opportunities that the SDGs present to youth globally.

IMG_20160729_111157 (1).jpgYoung students read the stories of Humans of MY World (

Moreover, groups of national and international students have been particularly drawn to the exhibition’s touch screens hosting the MY World 2030 Survey (, the High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment’s special MY World 2030 Empower Women Thematic Survey ( and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Impossible Choices humanitarian challenge (

IMG_20160808_115129.jpgVisitor taking the MY World 2030 Survey on exhibition touchscreen 

The UN Virtual Reality film series, which allows visitors to immersively experience the life of some of the world’s most vulnerable using high-tech 3D VR headsets has been a major visitor attraction since the opening of the exhibition. Visitors have been touched by the human stories of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and the effects of conflict in the Gaza Strip in the VR films Clouds Over Sidra, Waves of Grace and My Mother’s Wing (

IMG_20160729_104940 (1).jpgStudents watch United Nations Virtual Reality at exhibition 

Watching the movies and experiencing global issues up close has had a profound effect on visitors, many of whom have tried virtual reality technology for the first time. Especially touched was a group of students from LaGuardia Community College, NYC, who had scheduled a special visit to the virtual reality station. After visiting the exhibition with around 30 students the teacher wrote to the SDG Action Campaign to describe what a strong tool for the creation of empathy UNVR had been for the students:

“I just want to thank you for making the extra headsets available for my students last Friday. They were very impressed with the films. My students recently wrote an essay about whether or not the United States should take in Syrian refugees. Most of my students (who are all immigrants) said no, we shouldn’t let them in because there could be dangerous terrorists among them. One student stayed after class and argued with me about this, insisting that all Syrians are terrorists. After this particular student saw your film and experienced what it was like to be in a refugee camp, he told me he wants to rewrite his essay. We have been reading about refugee situations all during the term, we’ve seen film clips from the news, and we’ve watched Hotel Rwanda, and still most students wanted to keep refugees out. Your film changed that for some of them, which is very powerful. So thank you!”

The interactive SDGs exhibition will continue to be open until 4 September 2016.


The exhibition is open to the general public during official UN visiting hours:

  • Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • All visitors must exit the building by 5:30pm.
  • Virtual Reality screenings at the exhibition: Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.

The entrance is at 46th Street and 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Visitors without an official UN Pass will have to first obtain a guest pass at the screening station on 46th and 1st across the street from the UN. Be sure to bring a photo ID.

If your delegation or mission would like to schedule a special exhibition tour, please kindly contact Kristin Gutekunst at (9143303774).


MY World 2030 launches next phase

[wpvideo Nwuc9SNS]MY_World_event_flyer.jpg

Did you know, the MY World Survey is comprised of much more than one simple question now?

On July 18, 2016, the UN SDG Action Campaign, in partnership with UNDP, ODI and Global Pulse, launched the next phase of MY World in the UNHQ. Partners from multiple sectors joined in the discussion, reporting on methodologies and strategies. They also presented lessons learnt and preliminary results from early pilot testing and representative studies.

See what our speakers and panelist have said during the MY World 2030 Launch!

  • MY World is an opportunity to hear from voices across the spectrum, voices of the people who really shifted this agenda” – Rosemary Kalapurakal, Lead Advisor, 2030 Agenda Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
  • We really need to work together to make sure that the spirit of the MY World campaign lives” – Haoliang Xu, Assistant Administrator and Director for the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNDP
  • MY World 2030 is about monitoring progress, satisfaction and awareness” – Mitchell Toomey, Global Director, UN SDG Action Campaign
  • The main focus of a questionnaire has got to be on the individual respondent” – Hayk Gyuzalyan, Methods Director, TNS Opinion
  • Partnership is not about engaging varying entities, but also engaging all individuals in ensuring we leave no one behind” – Muhsin Syihab, from Indonesia
  • Local actions must be taken to make impact, particular by youth” – Maria Fernando Olvera, Director of Injuve
  • We must continue unfinished business of MDGs through implementation of SDGs” – Princess Orelope-Adefulire, from Nigeria


The UN MY World 2015 survey (2013-2015) showed that it is both possible and useful to bring peoples’ voices directly into policy making at a global level.  MY World was designed to bring the voices of individual people into the political deliberaCapture d’écran 2016-08-02 à 15.10.44tions on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it has been highly successful in doing so. Almost ten million people have responded to the survey, and the results have fed into every part of the political process for creating the new goals.  MY World has been cited as part of the High Level Panel deliberations, the Open Working Group discussions, the PGA consultations and the Independent Expert Group on Data. The SG, DSG, Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Secretary General Youth Envoy and chair of the UNDG regularly reference the MY World data.

MY World 2030 will have two clear areas to contribute to, enabled through four different channels.

Main goals of MY World 2030:

  1. Contribute to efforts to report back on progress. The aim here will be to collect globally comparable (both at scale and nationally representative) data to monitor how people feel their lives are changing. This data could feed into official monitoring efforts both locally and globally and contribute to an enhanced mechanism for the effective monitoring and implementation of the goals.
  2. Mobilise and build dialogue between decision makers such as parliamentarians, local governments, mayors and citizens, in particular young people in order to contribute a “people’s perspective” on how to implement the new agenda at different levels and establish accountability mechanisms.  This data and citizen voice will be focused at the community; municipal and provincial level and provide a rich source of information for national decision makers. It is envisaged that this dialogue will be aggregated at national, regional and global levels. The demand for this has been demonstrated by the MY Municipality initiative in Macedonia and the continued expansion of U Report globally.


Continue reading “MY World 2030 launches next phase”

SDGs: A People-powered Agenda – Leave No One Behind

The SDGs Exhibition Launches July 18 at the United Nations!

Throughout the post-2015 process and following a call to action from the United Nations Secretary-General in 2012, over ten million people shared their hopes and dreams with the UN to help shape the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As we enter the era of Agenda 2030, the challenge now is to show that the SDGs are in fact achievable through partnership and action from everyone everywhere.  Will YOU become a part of this movement to build a better world?



The exhibition recounts how millions of ordinary people have ensured the Sustainable Development Goals are a bold and ambitious agenda through the most inclusive and transparent process the UN has ever seen. It also provides some concrete examples of the actions people can take now to help their governments with the implementation of the SDGs by 2030.

We need YOU to help ensure the SDGs become widely known and to ensure that as the Agenda 2030 is implemented, and NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND.

The exhibition was curated, designed and produced by the UN SDG Action Campaign on behalf of the UN Development Group (UNDG), in partnership with: the Federal Government of Germany, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

It features voluntary input and stories from millions of people around the world through data visualizations, photographs, videos, virtual reality. It also allows interactive ways to share your opinion, make your commitment and explore how to take action on the SDGs.



The exhibition is open to the general public during official UN visiting hours, 418 July 18 – 7 September 2016,

Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
All visitors must exit the building by 5:30pm

The entrance is at 46th Street and 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Visitors without an official UN Pass will have to first obtain a guest pass at the screening station on 46th and 1st across the street from the UN. Be sure to bring a photo ID.

If your delegation or mission would like to schedule a special exhibition tour, please kindly contact Alice Chen at (6096510945)


MDGs to SDGs

MyWorld-29Learn about the process that led us from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals with a special emphasis on peoples’ voices. By using cutting edge technology and data visualizations, the voices of over 10 million people, especially the voices of the most vulnerable populations, are told through the following initiatives:

  • MY World 2015 Survey – over 10 million people, most of them youth, have told the UN their top six of sixteen priorities for a better world, data that has fed into the post-2015 agenda
  • World We Want – a knowledge platform hosting documentation, and data visualizations including those from online, national and thematic civil society consultations
  • Humans of MY World – a photo exhibition telling the stories of MY World voters around the world
  • Virtual Reality – immerse yourself in the life of some of the world’s most vulnerable using high-tech 3D VR headset

Action to Engagement Arena

MyWorld-53The action and engagement arena allows visitors to “get their hands dirty” and take action for furthering the SDGs: right here, right now! These are some of the ways to take action:

  • MY World Survey2030 – Modeled after the first phase of MY World, this citizen satisfaction survey will monitor Global Goal progress and allow further specialization at a local level
  • Women’s Economic Empowerment– tell us what you think would help to empower women economically by filling out our survey
  • Own Your Voice– Virtually “Meet” six young women from around the world who are using their voice to change the world, they are the Youtube Change Ambassadors!
  • Commitment Corner – How will you help achieve the SDGs by 2030? Make your commitment on our SDGs blackboard and take a selfie, tag us @SDGAction

There’s more, but you’ll have to come see for yourself. Visit the SDGs Exhibition before September 7th 2016 and see what actions you can take for the SDGs!


Is Women's Economic Empowerment important to you?

#empowerwomen247_call03The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment has teamed up with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Campaign to roll out a global MY World 2030 thematic survey called Empower Women 24_7. This survey aims to find out, from people around the world, what are the best ways to support women to get better jobs, earn more money and start or run a business?

The survey results will be guide the High-Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment who will release a report  in September 2016 containing key recommendations on how to accelerate women’s economic empowerment. The results will inform world leaders of what people think are the barriers to progress, what could help accelerate change, and HOW to address these challenges.

Justine Greening – High Level Panel Member and Secretary of State for International Development, UK – explains how unlocking the economic potential of women can help beat poverty.

Women’s economic empowerment is about unlocking the potential of women to earn more, gain better jobs and achieve financial independence. It’s about economic equality: such as closing the gender pay gap, increasing job opportunities, or access to loans. It’s also about breaking down barriers that hold women back: from discriminatory laws to an unfair share of unpaid home and family care. It’s a game-changer for development: because when more women get the chance to work, it makes their families, communities & countries wealthier.

The UN is carrying out this survey now because this year sees the start of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development: 17 targets to build a better world for everyone by 2030. Goal 5 is Gender Equality, which recognises that women’s empowerment – particularly economic empowerment – is critical in ending extreme poverty. The High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment is gathering evidence and ideas now to publish a report in March 2017.

Please take our short survey and help us to spread the word!

The survey is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese  at:

ew myw logo positive transparent


Youth Aiming to Reach 1 Million Young People in Pune, India

2014.06.13 Akash1

This is a letter written by Aakash Shah, Founder and President of Action for Pune Development, and Global Youth Advocate for MY World 2015 and World We Want 2015. He is striving to collect a million votes in Pune, India.

It is an honor to work as a Global Youth Advocate for My World 2015, and the ‘World We Want’ platform. As a Global Youth Advocate, I focus on involving people from different areas of society, as well as other initiatives to help mobilise and strengthen the campaign. I have collaborated with Radio Channels, Technical Book Publishers, over 50 schools, hospitals, Private Sectors, NGO’s etc. to promote the campaign and to collect votes.

There are over 50 MY World 2015 Youth Ambassadors around the world who help promote awareness about the importance of this campaign. In order to better explain each priority in the ‘MY WORLD 2015’ survey, we are organising various events in public areas that have to do with specific priorities in order to maximize the interest and understanding of each priority. For example, we organised a book donation camp to help people further understand the priority of ‘a good education’. We had various people donate books which we then gave to the needy & under-privileged. Similarly, we organised a Tree Plantation Drive on World Environment Day to support the priority of ‘Protecting Forest, Rivers and Ocean’.

Continue reading “Youth Aiming to Reach 1 Million Young People in Pune, India”

Over one million people speak at the United Nations

1,130,000 people have answered MY World, the United Nations global survey to citizens- voting for education, health, honest and responsive government and jobs as basis for a better future. 

Results from MY World are being presented to world leaders during the 68th UN General Assembly session in New York through a report and an innovative and interactive new exhibit called “Listening to ONE MILLION Voices.”


Continue reading “Over one million people speak at the United Nations”

College freshmen give added boost to MY World campaign in Thailand

Thailand’s Dhurakij Pundit University (DPU) held a kickoff event for incoming freshmen on July 4 and 5, bringing together new students and offering them to participate in a range of team-building activities. It was also a way of introducing students to the university’s involvement in MY World, the United Nations Global Survey.

DPU’s International College (DPUIC) gave a presentation about the MY World campaign and invited more than 1,500 new students to hear about the United Nations and many of the post-2015 development challenges facing Thailand and the rest of the world. “The beginning of a new academic year is always an exciting time for both faculty and students. This year is no exception as DPUIC has the opportunity to continue our successful partnership with MY World,” said Dominic Bone, DPUIC Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.dpuicfreshman

Continue reading “College freshmen give added boost to MY World campaign in Thailand”

Making every vote count in India

UNV Field Unit in India has mobilized thousands of Indians to vote for the My World Survey. Where internet or mobile options are not available, UNV’s partners at the grassroots level are supporting offline surveys since March 2013 reaching out to thousands of Indians to engage them in the post-2015 process. So far, about 2500 offline votes have been collected through this mobilization effort, covering more than eight Indian states from all the four regions. The survey provided opportunities to youth (both rural and urban), educationists, women, tribal, marginalized and poor people to give their opinion about the changes that will make this future free of poverty and more equitable.

In Karnataka, the students of Social Work of BSW College run by Belgaum Integrated Rural Development Society (BIRDS) reached out to more than 1000 tribal, marginalized  and poor households from the remote areas near Belgaum in March. The survey was translated in Kannada, a language the people speak. In Assam, the members of the SUROVI Shishu Panchayat (children’s assembly) reached out to more than 130 children and youth in slum and remote areas of Guwahati between 18-24 April. The participating youth felt that in a society where they hardly ever get a chance to have their say, it was a great feeling to learn that the UN wants to hear them.

In Mumbai, Maharashtra, about 30 school principals and teachers participated in the survey in April organized supported by Anant Vikas Trust. Currently, efforts are on to mobilize more than 10,000 votes in communities in rural and urban areas around Mumbai. In Delhi, more than 100 students, teachers and other participants voted through the offline survey in May during Children’s Social Conclave, 2013 organized by People’s Institute for Development and Training (PIDT), UNV and other partners to mark Global Youth Service Day.

In Kerala, a team of 20 enthusiastic youth took it upon themselves to reach out to their communities in Wayanad District of Kerala supported by AFRC INDIA to hear their unique perspectives for a better world. In June, this team of youth volunteers traveled extensively for nine days throughout the district and collected approximately 675 votes, exhibiting the great role volunteers could play in development efforts. In words of Laila Sein, founder AFRC, The best thing I found about the survey is that our students have started thinking beyond cricket and mobile phones— about critical issues that affect them.”

On 20 July, more than forty youth stepped forward to disseminate the offline survey with the backing of Anant Vikas trust in village Gomla, Haryana. This brigade of young volunteers was able to collect more than 70 votes from the villagers. Thanks to PIDT efforts, 388 tribal, marginalized, poor people and youth submitted their votes in Jharkhand. 200 votes came from the local women alone. Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth development (RGNIYD) organized the My World Survey in Tamil Nadu in July and  42 students of RGNIYD representing more than 12 Indian States participated in the survey.

Currently, offline survey is being organized in Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, and Maharashtra supported by  Youth For Human Rights International, The Peace Gong, and Anant Vikas Trust.

India old woman
A volunteer explains to an old lady, born in 1920, what is the MY World Survey.

Continue reading “Making every vote count in India”

Volunteerism as implementing actor for the new development agenda in Viet Nam

In Viet Nam, the United Nations Volunteers engaged in the translation of all contents of the My World website into Vietnamese and are promoting the survey through UN channels and social media. UNV Viet Nam is also engaging its partners and stakeholders to disseminate the survey.

For example, during the Conference on Volunteerism and the New Development Agenda, held in Ha Noi on July 6, UNV promoted the MY World online roll out among all the participants through volunteer networks, especially through social media in compliance with the efforts of One UN Communication Team. Two other major events are planned for July 20 and 27, which will aim to collect up to 20,000 votes.

viet nam blog myworld

More pictures at