In developing countries, far more young people enter the labour market each year than new jobs become available. For this reason, the Netherlands has given priority to promoting youth entrepreneurship and youth employment, especially in the focus regions. For example, the Netherlands participates in an African Development Bank innovative fund for youth entrepreneurship. We also launched our own Youth Employment Challenge Fund, and with the Orange Corners programme we set up local initiatives to help young people in Africa and the Middle East start their own businesses. Through programmes like Local Employment in Africa for Development (LEAD) and the Netherlands Senior Experts Programme (PUM), young entrepreneurs can receive coaching. Agriterra strengthens agricultural organisations and cooperatives, making farming an attractive option for young people. Dutch investment in the One Acre Fund is raising the incomes of small-scale farmers. The Dutch Good Growth Fund provides starters and social entrepreneurs with new forms of funding and technical assistance.
Good jobs and stable living incomes give people prospects and contribute to combating poverty, conflict and irregular migration. The Netherlands supported around 12,700 business plans for investment or trade and 345,000 direct jobs through business development programmes. Making supply chains more sustainable improved working conditions for more than 600,000 workers, funded training of around four million small-scale farmers and ensured sustainable soil management on more than 7.5 million hectares of farmland. With advice from Dutch experts, producers in developing countries could export products valued at more than $830 million. Twenty construction projects were completed, and funding was secured for another 48 projects. Thirty-four million people are expected to benefit from this new infrastructure. Nearly 10 million people gained access to financial services. More than 100 new financial products were developed for disadvantaged groups. As good governance and a favourable business climate are preconditions for a healthy economy, the Netherlands supports more than 500 local trade unions and farmers’ and entrepreneurs’ organisations. Support for tax authorities has also been expanded, in accordance with the agreements in the Addis Tax Initiative. This helps countries generate more revenue.