Citigroup Puts Financial Weight Behind Asia's Youth
Among other data points, the US bank said its Citi Foundation organisation has invested more than $275 million to address youth unemployment.
A foundation of Citigroup is backing a network of social investors in Asia, called AVPN, to launch a platform supporting young people in areas such as finding careers, improving skills and becoming leaders.
AVPN, supported by the Citi Foundation, has set up the Youth Opportunities Platform, which pulls together capital and matches it with opportunities that “empower youth,” Citigroup said in a statement.
The platform speeds up collaboration amongst donors, investors, policymakers, and young impact leaders. Within two months of its inception, the platform has aggregated more than 60 funders and resource providers from 20 global markets, to support a pilot cohort of 10 young impact leaders. This first cohort is advocating ways of improving youth employment and upskilling marginalised communities, socio-emotional learning and mental health support, refugee rights, coastal protection, music education, and more, Citigroup said.
The platform will also be open to capital providers, such as Cisco LaunchPad, Lorinet Foundation, The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, responsibility Investments AG, Patamar Capital and Villgro.
The US bank said it set up the platform because it realised that more than 60 per cent of the world’s young people who were living in Asia-Pacific did not have enough opportunities and connections to achieve their objectives. While many stakeholders across the public, private, and social sectors are investing in initiatives that support youth development, they often operate in silos within a fragmented ecosystem that fails to include young people in decision-making.
Citi Foundation has invested more than $275 million to address youth unemployment.
“The Youth Opportunities Platform is a key part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative,” Peter Babej, Citi’s Asia-Pacific CEO, said. “We are proud to be working with AVPN to empower young people and support inclusive growth across the region.”