Supporting youth entrepreneurship in 7 municipalities of Morazan to mitigate emigration and support local development

Related Sustainable Development Goals and Global Compact for Migration Objectives

SDG 8: Decent Work
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
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This project comes from the JMDI Phase II, a UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative, run in cooperation by IOM, UNDP, ILO, UN Women, UNFPA, UNITAR which took place from 2012 to 2017 and worked to provide the young population of these municipalities with alternatives to irregular migration.

The department of Morazán suffers from high rates of unemployment, especially among young people, making youth the most likely and willing to migrate. Employment opportunities for those who stay in the region are limited, and, as a result, this reality has led to various social problems, such as family separation, low drive and incentive to study, as well as a rise in violence. This lack of economic opportunity, coupled with high rates of violence in the country – mostly caused by gangs comprised of disenfranchised youth – have triggered considerable emigration flows from the seven poorest Municipalities of the Department of Morazán: Guatajiagua, Lolotiquillo, Perquín, San Fernando, Sociedad, Yamabal and Yoloaiquin.

Overall, the Morazán project provided the youth in the target municipalities with alternatives to irregular migration by fostering their economic inclusion in the local community. This has contributed to enhancing the economic integration of migrants, especially the youth by fostering their capacities in developing themselves as young entrepreneurs. In the framework of this programme, agreements have been signed to provide financial support for the income generating activities of young men and women, organised under the project.

Key objective

The overall objective of the project was to provide the young population of these municipalities with alternatives to irregular migration. In the framework of this programme, agreements have been signed with the Mayors of the four municipalities involved, which provide financial support to income generating activities of young men and women. Having obtained positive results from this first implementation phase, the department of Morazán will expand this programme to 3 other municipalities (Guatajiagua, Lolotiquillo, Yoloaiquín).

Main activities

The efforts and activities implemented are outlined below:

  • The specific process of establishing
    productive businesses consisted
    of four stages.
  1. The first stage was to identify young people to take part in the project
  2. The second stage was the pre-incubation of the enterprise, where the aim was to nurture the entrepreneurial and business capacities of the young people identified in the first stage through training, advice and specialised technical assistance.
  3. The third stage was the incubation of the company, which was composed of the process of pricing, purchasing and structuring of the space, tools and equipment required for the launch of the entrepreneurial initiative.
  4.  The last stage was that of post-incubation, where the intention is to provide business, agricultural and marketing support to the young entrepreneurs to ensure the sustainability and growth of their enterprises

Key successes or innovative factors, good practices and lessons learned (if available)

Overall, the lessons learned outline that:

  • Having qualitative and quantitative information is key to specifically determine the migration-related context in which youth find themselves, and this makes it possible to better direct programme implementationaction
  • Providing business and production technical support for recently established enterprises offers greater chances of sustainability in the medium and long-term
  • The establishment of alliances with strategic organisations that work in and know the territory is crucial for guaranteeing support for businesses beyond the lifespan of the project
  • Active participation of the youth in the process of establishing their initiatives is vital for both ownership and empowerment
  • Strengthening group cohesion is important to prevent problems arising between partners, which adversely affect the initiative


The project directly benefited the young population of the 7 Municipalities of the Department of Morazàn, mainly through the creation of four business associations involving 10 young people in each Municipality.

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