Youth Economic Dynamism

The Project develops the skills and abilities of young people, mainly women living in poverty, so that they can employ themselves with dignity or generate businesses with solid business models and thus improve their economic conditions.

In El Salvador one out of four youth does not study nor work and 8 out of 10 of these youth are women.
Gender gaps in employment and education opportunities represent a series of disadvantages for girls and women. Young people and young adults have little chance in the labour market. There are many reasons for this. On the one hand, they lie in the poor educational and training opportunities for young people and their lack of vocational qualifications. On the other hand, corruption, a high level of violent crime and legal uncertainty are major obstacles to the economy and lead to generally high unemployment.

El Salvador
Project duration
2018 - 2020
Financed by
  • Plan International

The project

Through actions oriented to improve access to employment, the project aims to increase youth competitiveness in the labor market and promote women´s empowerment towards employment. At the same time, self-employment interventions aim at deconstructing gender barriers, develop the necessary technical skills to implement a business and promote business competitive advantages through the transfer of “greenskills” and climate smart agriculture knowledge. Opportunities identified in selected value chains will guarantee sustainable and profitable businesses and promote innovation for youth in the área.

Young people will have the opportunity to decide whether to train for employment or to generate a business, based on selected training programmes. For both situations, young people will have to participate in a process of soft skills training where they will seek to develop attitudinal skills. Appropriate skills and competencies are formed to motivate young people to be protagonists of their economic insertion and to improve the conditions of their communities. This through the generation of economic dynamism, bringing in financial capital (income) or new offers of products and services to satisfy the specific needs and desires of their communities. The production chains with the greatest potential are identified through a Value Chain Analysis in the departments of Chalatenango and La Libertad.

To support innovative development, an analysis of the entrepreneurial ecosystem is carried out to identify the best way to develop the entrepreneurial skills of young people with their specific characteristics, oriented towards the development of solid business models.

Among stakeholders, the projet  mainly works with Plan International El Salvador, who facilitates access and contact for the beneficiaries and supports the incubation of the projects. Another important actor is the Instituto Salvadoreño de Formación Profesional (INSAFORP), which provides training in entrepreneurship, Green Business and Climate Smart Agriculture.

Defined beneficiary profile: young men and women, aged 16 to 29, priority given to those living in excluded rural areas who do not work or study; at risk of dropping out of school; members of families with children sponsored by Plan International El Salvador who are willing to invest time and resources. The project gives priority to women who meet the above profile.

The main activities of the project:
  1. Strengthening established youth enterprises
  2. Entrepreneurial training for young people
  3. Development or adjustment of financial product for established enterprises
  4. Institutionalisation of Entrepreneurship, Green Business and Climate Smart Agriculture curricula at INSAFORP

Objectives of the project

The main effect indicators to be obtained after the implementation of the project are:

  • Increase in the income of young people who have decided to start a business.
  • Increase in the annual sales of the businesses established in the previous phase (with at least one year of operations).
  • Improved access to financing for enterprises led by young men and women living in rural and peri-urban areas.
  • Participation of young women in entrepreneurship leadership courses
  • Improved attention to entrepreneurs with the institutionalisation of three training courses.

Project partner

  •     Plan International El Salvador
  •     INSAFORP
  •     Centros de Formación
  •     Alcaldías Municipales



  • 69 young people strengthened entrepreneurially and with consolidated business models
  • 18 young people with access to financial services
  • 3 training curricula designed and institutionalised (Successful Enterprise Development, Sustainable Agriculture Development and Green Businesses)
  • 30 young people with technical assistance in sustainable production practices
  • Average increase in sales of 55% in beneficiary businesses