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Empower Youth

It takes the youth of today to build prosperous communities tomorrow.

Communities thrive when they offer a bright future for younger generations. Young people who are helped to develop their skills increase their chances of finding fulfilling jobs or creating their own businesses. Supporting young generations helps build thriving, resilient communities, and aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Are today’s youth prepared for what the future holds?

Around the world, more than 55 million people aged between 15 and 24 are unemployed.

Lockdowns and other global health-related measures implemented over the past few years have further deepened the situation. More than one in six young people are out of work, while those who remain employed have seen their working hours cut, according to the International Labour Organization.

Unemployment rates in the Middle East and North Africa are amongst the world’s highest at 29%, according to the World Economic Forum. This is a key factor contributing to Arab youth migration with nearly half the region’s young people considering leaving their countries, due mainly to economic, social, and political reasons, as cited by the 2020 Arab Youth Survey.

Young people also need to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, where digitization and environmental sustainability will become even more important.

Making a decent living out of agriculture is increasingly becoming a challenge. As more young people migrate to cities, the average age of farmers increases. Climate change makes farming even more challenging and impacts the entire food system – a term that encompasses every actor, activity, process, and product in growing, raising, making, delivering, and consuming food.

Our Commitment

Our ambition at Nestlé is to help 10 million young people have access to economic opportunities by 2030.

What we have done so far

Nestlé needs YOUth

Through the Nestlé needs YOUth initiative, which was created in 2013, we help equip young generations with the skills they need to thrive in the workplace of today and tomorrow by:

  • Promoting employment and employability, equipping youth to get a fulfilling job and career
  • Supporting entrepreneurship, giving youth the right competencies to kickstart their career
  • Encouraging agripreneurship, helping provide young people with the right skills to feed the world

Throughout all our efforts, we at Nestlé aim to provide decent employment and equal opportunities, which are essential to helping people lead healthier, happier lives.

Employment & Employability

Nestlé has so far:

  • Offered more than 43,000 apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities worldwide
  • Provided 100,000 job opportunities annually for young people under 30 years old
  • Organized training sessions for more than one million young people around the world

In addition, in 2020 alone, more than one million young people attended our work readiness training events in person or online, and over 3,088 entrepreneurs benefited from advanced mentoring.

In the Middle East and North Africa, Nestlé is committed to supporting the career development of youth in the region, offering various opportunities for learning as well as creating at least 1,000 new jobs for people under the 30 years old by 2025. We will offer more than 1,750 internships, traineeships, and apprenticeship throughout the same period.

Achievements in the region so far include:

  • Hiring: Nestlé has hired nearly 3,200 young people under the age of 30 in the region since 2017. More than 800 of them were hired since January 2020 alone..
  • Internships: More than 1,450 internships and traineeships have been offered since 2017, including more than 230 since January 2020.
  • Readiness for Work events: implemented by working with universities across the region to offer expert advice to students in the areas of career advising, employability, business and corporate environment, and leadership. These have impacted more than 40,000 people, including nearly 5,000 through 30 events we held online and across the region in 2021. They include workshops, CV clinics, and mock interviews.
  • Digital skills: We will be further rolling out our YOUth eBusiness Academy. Trainees enrolled in the program will gain advanced digital skills (search, data, e-commerce) and obtain an official certification upon completion. Specific attention will also be given to digital skills in factories.
  • Promoting sustainability skills: We at Nestlé work to promote careers in sustainability through various training programs, conducted both internally and externally. One example of outside partnerships includes our collaboration with Masdar’s Youth 4 Sustainability Ecothon Innovation Challenge, where our contribution included training, coaching, and providing an internship opportunity.

The Nestlé Center of Excellence

Founded in 2012 in Saudi Arabia with a mission to help bridge the skills gap between academic curriculum and corporate expectations, the Nestlé Center of Excellence offers training programs in the Middle East and North Africa in Nutrition, Business, and Sales. It has so far trained nearly 250 people and hired 68, with the latest graduate batch emerging in October 2021.


 We at Nestlé have scaled up online training and launched the Nesternship initiative, which offers a digital internship program that helps young people in many countries gain professional experience remotely. The Program provides innovative means to select and train talented young people on the increasingly important areas of digitization and environmental sustainability.

Entrepreneurships, Startups, and Innovation

Now more than ever, young entrepreneurs need all the support they can get. Their innovation and creativity can have the power to change the world for the better. To help them make this change, Nestlé identifies and nurtures business talent in young people and helps them to kickstart and grow their businesses..

Until now, we have:

  • Supported social entrepreneurs with over CHF 2.5 million funding
  • Provided basic training and advanced mentoring to over 100 entrepreneurs
  • Engaged over 100 employees to provide support for young entrepreneurs
  • Created collaboration projects between entrepreneurs and Nestlé brands or markets

Creating Shared Value Prize

Since 2010, the Nestlé Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize has aimed to identify system-changing initiatives for some of today's most critical environmental and social issues around the world. Through the CSV Prize, we promote and support changemakers who are creating scalable, locally relevant solutions.

The Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize 2020-2021 tackled the challenge of “How do we create a waste-free future?” It was launched in association with Ashoka, the world’s leading network of systems-changing social entrepreneurs, and was open to social and commercial enterprises, nonprofits, and NGOs. It received entries from 173 applicants.

Ten finalists were selected based on their potential for positive impact for a waste-free future and for collaboration with Nestlé. Among them was Lebanon’s Live Love Recycle which created an app that offers on-demand recycling collection services, removing a barrier to sustainable waste management.

All CSV Prize finalists benefit from Ashoka's online resources and workshops, as well as coaching and mentoring.

Purina BetterwithPets Prize

Recognizing the transformative power of the pet-human bond, the Purina BetterwithPets Prize rewards inspiring social innovations that reimagine the role of pets in society.

A collaboration between Nestlé Purina and Ashoka to help identify novel ways to improve the lives of pets and their owners across Europe, Middle East and North Africa, the Prize was launched in 2017, with several finalists from the Middle East and North Africa emerging from its 2020 edition.

Pet Me, a mobile App project developed by a team of six young Saudi Arabian innovators which aims to facilitate free pet adoption and foster pet relationships and empathy in Saudi Arabia, won the People’s Choice category.

Reading Dogs, an initiative offering children in the United Arab Emirates the opportunity to interact meaningfully with pet dogs by reading to them, took home around CHF 10,000 ($10,700), coming in third in the highly coveted piloted project category. 

UNLEASHED 2021 Accelerator Lab Program

PawPots – a Lebanon-based subscription service provider of fresh, gently-cooked meals for dogs and cats – is one of six winners of Purina’s UNLEASHED 2021 Accelerator Lab Program, shining among 300 applicants from 50 countries for a prize of around $55,000 to upscale its business. It will also receive mentorship and supervision from Purina’s Accelerator team.

The start-up, which is soon expanding into the United Arab Emirates, was recognized for driving some of the most innovative ideas in pet care along with five other applicants from around Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa: France’s Animoscope; the UK’s BioKind; Finland’s Pawesomer; the UK’s PuppyFat; and France’s Scorpet.

R+D Accelerator

Nestlé's global R+D Accelerator network consists of 12 sites in eight different countries, with each located at a Nestlé R&D site and focusing on a specific product category or region.

In August 2021, we at Nestlé launched our largest R+D Accelerator at our fundamental research center in Lausanne, Switzerland. It provides a unique platform for startups, students, and Nestlé intrapreneurs to bring highly differentiated product innovations to the market fast. The internal and external teams have full access to Nestlé's state-of-the-art infrastructure and unmatched science, technology, and business expertise.

Agripreneurship: Getting the right skills to help young people feed the world

Farmers are at the heart of the food system and its future. That’s why Nestlé inspires, trains, and enables young farmers to develop necessary knowledge and skills, and nurtures their entrepreneurial spirit to sustainably manage their farms.

Already, we at Nestlé have:

  • Worked directly with more than 550,000 farmers annually through our Farmer Connect Program
  • Provided training to more than 400,000 farmers
  • Identified more than 20,000 young people as potential agripreneurs – those with the progressive attitudes necessary to grow and develop their farms as successful future businesses
  • Organized training events and support programs to help potential agripreneurs in the transformation of their farms
  • Locally adapted training and support programs, and created them with external partners

To support young people who are passionate about farming, we are also launching a new training platform in November to attract and train the next generation of farmers from around the world. The training will focus on regenerative agriculture practices and improving the resilience of farms to climate change for more than 40,000 farmers participating in one of our agripreneurship programs.

Alliance for YOUth

Nestlé and the Alliance for YOUth, launched in 2014 to bring together entities to support youth career development, will be creating 300,000 new opportunities for young people across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa by 2025.

Nestlé’s objective is to make a positive difference beyond our Company, by partnering with governments, foundations, youth organizations, academia, and the private sector. We have collaborated closely with more than 300 private sector partners to develop the skills and resources young people need to enter the workplace or start their own businesses.

In 2019, Nestlé co-founded the Global Alliance for Youth along with 19 other multinational companies. While the initiative's initial commitment was to help six million young people improve their employability and skills, the Alliance exceeded all expectations, supporting over 10 million young people to date. The Alliance’s new aim is to support 15 million young people by 2022, helping them build employability skills for the future: Digital, Soft Skills, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Career Advice, and Entrepreneurship. 

Get Onboard!

Young people interested in exploring opportunities offered by Nestlé and apply to jobs can visit our MENA career page. They can also find more information on LinkedIn.