The Western Union Foundation has announced a three-year, $15 million investment aimed at providing vulnerable youth with the skills and education needed to succeed in the global digital economy.
The Opportunity Beyond Borders initiative will invest in programs and research projects on five continents designed to equip refugees and marginalized youth with the technology and entrepreneurship skills needed to thrive in the economy of the future, along with critical supports such as counseling, career guidance, and scholarships.
The initiative already is supporting programs operated by the MIT D-Lab and Watson Institute focused on business development skills for future entrepreneurs, as well as a multiyear joint research project between the Center for Global Development and Refugees International designed to generate evidence of the need for policy changes that improve labor market access for refugees.
"Our world is becoming increasingly digital and more global in exciting ways — and yet more people than ever before have been forcibly displaced by crises and natural disasters," said Western Union Foundation executive director Elizabeth Roscoe. "We understand the need to serve vulnerable populations, like refugees and marginalized youth, who are less likely to have access to the skills needed to participate in the global economy."