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Image of Avni Sharma

Supriya joined the Building Young Futures programme in 2010.

Barclays and UNICEF have been working together on the Building Young Futures programme since 2008. The impact the initiative is having on empowering young women in India is nowhere more apparent than in the stories of Avni Sharma and Supriya Khusal Ramteke.

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Building Young Futures has given me wings. I was not allowed to go out when I was growing up. I was limited to housework. I studied to grade 10 at school, to the age of 16. Then no more.
Avni Sharma, resident of the Mumbai slums,

Avni Sharma, 20 years old from Mumbai

Avni, a resident of the Mumbai slums, has been involved in Building Young Futures for several years. The programme has helped her to develop the confidence and skills required to apply and successfully secure a job in a local shopping centre.

She said: “Building Young Futures has given me wings. I was not allowed to go out when I was growing up. I was limited to housework. I studied to grade 10 at school, to the age of 16. Then no more.”

Avni has now worked as a retail assistant for two years, and thanks to the Building Young Futures training has learnt how to manage her money, and has now been able to save enough to pay her college fees to study commerce.

The Building Young Futures programme is a global partnership between Barclays and UNICEF with a shared goal to help tackle youth unemployment by enabling disadvantaged young people, like Avni to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to find a job or set up their own small business.

Supriya Khusal Ramteke, 20 years old from Chandrapur

As well as helping disadvantaged young women to develop confidence, employability and financial skills, the Building Young Futures programme in India also helps them to come together to open savings accounts.

They each put in as much money as they can every month, this fund is then used to help members of the group invest in their business ideas – which is exactly how Supriya got her small businesses off the ground.

Supriya, who lives in rural Chandrapur, joined the Building Young Futures programme in 2010, where she received financial, business and entrepreneurship training.

Thanks to the skills and confidence Building Young Futures gave her, she was able to identify two business opportunities, one selling paint during the festival season, and the other renting out traditional wedding veils and jewellery. These two businesses now pay for her education as well as help her to support her family.

Between 2012 and 2015, Barclays aims to directly benefit 74,000 young people in Brazil, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Uganda and Zambia. This is part of Barclays’ ambition to change 5 Million Young Futures by 2015.

Read more about the Building Young Futures programmeRead more about the Building Young Futures programme
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