Iuvenia Award, for youth friendly companies

Iuvenia Award, for youth friendly companies: Improving working conditions for youth

Mexico City, MexicoMexico
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Some companies are making great efforts to offer young employees good working conditions and development plans. The Iuvenia Award allows us to find these companies and reward them for the great work they do, and thus inspire all the other companies to improve working conditions for youth.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if companies realized that offering good working conditions and growth opportunities to their young employees brings benefits to all, including the company itself?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

One of every four Mexicans is a young person, this is a statistic that can become an opportunity for the country as long as young people are given the opportunity to contribute to Mexico's social and economic development. Otherwise it can turn into a disadvantage with youth facing high rates of unemployment, drug addiction, lack of education and crime. Through the Iuvenia Award we want to give youth the employment opportunities they deserve.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We know that there are companies that implement good practices on youth employability. Through the Iuvenia award, we grant a yearly acknowledgment to corporations that are investing on youth . Thus, companies that are already doing well have an incentive to continue doing so and those that still have challenges to overcome in the subject, can identify best practices and replicate them in their institutions. We help companies to realize that offering good working conditions for youth benefits not only young employees, but also the general society and the company itself. One company at a time we want to change employment conditions and make possible that young people have access to a decent employment to enhance economic development
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Based on research and on the International labor organization guidelines, we developed a methodology that allows us to detect if a company is applying good practices on youth employability matters. The process is measured by 3 main topics of analysis: Index of youth participation, elements of decent work, employee’s development plans and social mobility. Questionnaires are applied to: companies, young employees and, trainees and voluntaries. Averaged the data gives us a quality index of the employment opportunities for young people offered by the company. In the case the company does not reach the minimum index to obtain the award we provide subsequent specialized counseling in youth employment so they can improve youth working conditions

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We have ran two pilots on two different companies. This has allowed us to identify potential challenges for the future implementation of the project. Experience in both companies was very successful, as we were able to cut evaluation time and necessary adjustments were generated in the questionnaires in order to obtain all the information we need to make an assessment that is objective. For both companies have developed reports containing specific recommendations that will positively impact the human resource policies aimed at young people. This will have a direct impact on 150 young employees the future young employees of each company. Putting the issue of youth employment in the sight, we will achieve that all companies operate in favor of young people and we will be potentially impacting the 14 million young people that work and the ones that are unemployed so they join the workforce.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The Iuvenia award project is replicable anywhere in the world. Ollin, Jovenes en Movimiento, is interested in replicating the Iuvenia award in other Latin American countries, especially those facing high rates of youth unemployment, and those in which many young people do not have a decent job. The methodology is based on the guidelines of the International Labour Organization, so it is easy to apply in every country, we just need to contact the companies, and once the project is known in Mexico, we are confident that companies from other countries will be interested in obtaining the Award.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The Iuvenia award is a sustainable project in itself. The award includes two types of monetary contributions from the participating companies: first, a fee per company to participate in obtaining the Iuvenia award; second, companies can make a contribution if they require subsequent specialized counseling in youth employment. In this way, we will ensure that the project will continue over time while the Award gains recognition and prestige.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Strategies to tackle the problem of youth unemployment in Mexico are focused on creating spaces with computers to enable young people to find a job,or other means to bring young people closer to companies. In general, what we have observed is that these strategies focus primarily on young people and not on the private sector or the working conditions the companies offer. The Iuvenia Award works to complement such programs, working on one of its causes: poor working conditions, by rewarding companies that are doing well on youth employability promoting youth employment for a sustainable future.

Founding Story

At Ollin we empower mexican youth. One of the most important issues on youth issues has to do with employment and working conditions for young people. When we first started to work we realize there was not enough research on youth issues and this is how we initiated the National Index of Youth Participation. With the data that we collected we were able to see clearly that young people are not given the opportunities they need to reach their potential in the private sector and we thought that if companies that apply good practices in this matter could be recognized, then all companies would be able to see the advantages and join the awarded companies, giving youth better working conditions


We have an interdisciplinary team that is young and qualified: Greta Lucero Ríos Téllez I am 32 years old and I am the General Director. I have a bachelor in International Relations by the ITESM and a Master in International Law by the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Stefan Scharnagl Villarroel, Research Coordinator. Bachelor in Economics with major on Finance by the ITAM. Alejandro Castro, Liaison Officer. Student of Economics in ITAM. Mariela Torres, Communication Coordinator. Bachelor in Communications by the Universidad del Valle de Mexico. Isabel Núñez, International Liaison Officer. Bachelor in International Commerce by the Universidad Iberoamericana and Master in Development Innovation and Change by the University of Bologna.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Through Ashoka

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:


Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I founded Ollin in 2011, with an urge to work for creating opportunities for young people in Mexico. Today, Ollin is one of the most renowned youth NGOs in Mexico and since
2014 it has spread its international presence. As such, I am now regarded as a key player regarding youth matters and I have working relationships with important actors such as the UN agencies in Mexico; media representatives; universities; other NGOs and the government. I wish we all could work together, so that young people in Mexico have access to decent jobs,because youth can make the world move forward.
In the research field, from 2012, we coordinate the implementation of the National Index of Youth Participation, an interdisciplinary analysis on youth and participation, through which we can count on objective information to propose courses of action, public policies and monitoring mechanisms for them. Its purpose is to strengthen youth participation in strategic issues in a responsible and informed way, to thereby improve their living conditions and the development of Mexico. The first three editions are available for digital download on the site http://ollinac.org/indice-nacional/. Additionally, in 2014, we generated our first edition of a regional index of youth participation, in Morelos. From 2015, the INPJ be published biannually and will have a specific section on rural youth and participation.

This communication field is a priority for Ollin. Through our blog "Jóvenes Construyendo" (http://www.jovenesconstruyendo.org) we provide a space of expression for youth to share their views on issues that they are passionate about, and to learn ways to enhance their ideas. With a little more than 30,000 monthly visits, in 2015 we are working to strengthen this platform. Ollin also generates communication through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, where we share the efforts of our organization, as well as news, announcements and interesting events on youth issues.

Ollin has an important line of action on youth participation in politics. Young Plan for Democracy is an initiative started in 2014 to attract more people into the public sphere in Mexico. In this project we make available to the public information about youth fractions of political parties and we conduct electoral monitoring focused on young candidates.
Our organization is an initiative created and led by young people who believe in the value of interinstitutional cooperation and networking. Since 2012 we are part of "Las Juventudes Proponen " an interdisciplinary group of civil society organizations and agencies of the United Nations System for the generation and promotion of a National Agenda for Youth. We also participate in "Juventudes 2030", civil society-led process to promote better public policies on youth and we are part of the Network of Expert Institutions on Youth and Development (RIE).

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

For this project, we have a made several strategic alliances. On one hand, with other organizations with expertise on civil society on the issue of youth employment, such as IDEA foundation, as well as the support and advice of international organizations like the United Nations Population Fund and the International Labour Office; for legal assessment we count with the collaboration of Baker&MacKenzie; we also have the academic and technical assistance of the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México; and on strategy and promotion we have and alliance with Fundemex.

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