With youth unemployment close to 34 percent—and little domestic demand for educated but inexperienced labor—it often takes university graduates in Lebanon a year to find a job. Political instability and economic uncertainty have limited the range of opportunities for job seekers, resulting in the talent migration (or brain drain) of about 40 percent of male and 30 percent of female graduates.
There are initiatives to harness their potential and drive job creation so that fewer young people migrate. These include grassroots entrepreneurship, start-ups, and partnerships between the private sector and academia. Lebanon still lags behind, though, in terms of generating enthusiasm for work among youth, and for including them in regional and global innovation and technology. A number of simple things could help motivate young people better, such as more mentorship, coordination, funding, and information.
Mobile internet services provide access to global markets for start-ups as well as the opportunity to develop entrepreneurship beyond local constraints. They also reduce transaction costs for new products and services and reduce the risk of losses incurred when turning an idea into a business. The mobile internet provides a vehicle for university students, entrepreneurs, and businesses in Lebanon to develop their skills.